The Bucket List

Courtney Cook

Kick it while you still can

Photo Illustration by Tracy Tucholski

Credit: DKS Editors

Publish a book before pushing up daisies.

Run a marathon ahead of walking toward the light.

Jump out of a plane before the inevitable plunge.

A bucket list is a composition of tasks to accomplish before “kicking the bucket.”

In the movie The Bucket List Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play two terminally ill older men brought together by their fates and determined to fulfill their life dreams and accomplishments before the final check-out.

To average 20-something-aged college students, graduation represents the end of one life and the beginning of another in a new world.

Students tell of their own bucket lists – all the goals and activities to get out of their systems before graduation, when many aspects of a carefree life come to a close.

Travel and study abroad:

“I want to study abroad to experience somewhere else for an extended period of time,” freshman history major Rob Naylor said.

He said it doesn’t matter where he goes, as long as it’s out of the country, and he is considering Switzerland.

Although costs would be an issue in his travels, junior exploratory major Jason Bryant said he wants to go to Japan.

“I’m taking Japanese this semester and it’s really interesting to me,” he said. “If they offered Japanese as a major then I would definitely declare one.”

Brittany McConaughy, freshman international relations major, hopes to travel to Egypt this summer.

“I originally wanted to be an Egyptologist and study pharaohs and pyramids along with the culture of ancient Egypt,” she said.

Some desired simply getting out of Kent for spring break.

“I just want to rent a van, grab some friends, and head to Florida,” said Greg VanDyne, senior computer information systems major. “I would really like to travel this spring break because I haven’t had the chance to since I started college.”

Dive out of a plane and into adventure:

An ostentatious goal many young people wish to fulfill before the actual “kicking of the bucket” is skydiving.

“My friends went skydiving, and I’m kind of jealous,” said freshmen Dallas Foster, exploratory major. “They said it’s like a movie. Everything is slowed down. They said nothing compares, and it doesn’t seem real.”

If your friends jumped out of a plane, would you do it too? Here are a few skydiving and parachute jumping facilities available in Northeast Ohio. Cross something off your list.

• Aerohio Skydiving Center Rittman, Ohio

(330) 925-3483

• Canton Air Sports Alliance, Ohio

(330) 823-0370

• Cleveland Parachute Center Garrettsville, Ohio

(440) 548-4511

VanDyne said he took care of his bucket list goal of skydiving a month into his freshman year.

“You have to take all of your fears and leave them on the plane,” VanDyne said. “You get really nervous and look out the window and realize that you’re not riding down in the plane. Once you jump there’s a huge rush of wind in your face.”

From best years to career years:

Everyone’s heard “your college years are the best years of your life.” Students discuss going from the limited of life to the stresses of the “real world.”

“There are a lot more responsibilities, like a family and a real job,” Foster said. “I won’t be able to be as free-spirited as now.”

Naylor said the main thing he’ll miss is simply spending time with friends. He said he and his friends plan to attend concerts his semester.

“I might not be able to afford it, but I’ll make it happen,” he said.

VanDyne said college doesn’t have as many hard core responsibilities as he will have after graduation – which is coming all too soon.

“Waking up to reality is going to suck. I really like being able to do nothing,” he said. “As long as you’re passing your classes and doing good, you’re accomplishing your goals. College is kind of like a limbo between childhood and the ‘real world.’ After this it’s kind of like, work till you die.”

Contact features reporter Courtney Cook at [email protected].