7 things you need to do before you graduate

1. Go to a wacky society – even when you’re no longer a fresher

I go to the freshers’ fair every year, and so far I’ve not been disappointed! Aside from the free pizza (always a positive), I always find at least one new thing to try out for fun. In first year, I played Quidditch, running about on a field with a pole between my legs (really!); in second year I went to a taster session to learn the basic steps for Irish dancing (very fun!); and this year I’ve been to a society solely dedicated to drinking tea (very relaxing!). Even if you don’t end up joining the society for good, you might meet some interesting new people – and collect a few stories to look back on when your uni adventure is over.

2. Go to a talk on a subject which isn’t your own

Does your university hold festivals or optional events on topics that your professors are researching? Do you have a friend who studies something totally different from you? Get looking around use one of your spare hours to ‘study’ something totally different. Last week I attended a talk on how scientific data bias is affecting women’s lives in every way, and it was absolutely worth taking the time out of my own subject.

3. Have a big cooking sesh with your friends and/or flatmates

Pool all your pots, plates and partial culinary knowledge – it’s time for a big cook-off with your friends! Sure, microwaving some beans or sticking a frozen pizza in the oven have a certain je ne sais quoi but now it’s time to really step up your game. Hunt out a recipe and split up the cost of ingredients between you, remembering to check if anyone has any special dietary requirements. Some super easy things to make for a big group include vegetable curries, stir fries, a five-bean chilli or a big pot of macaroni cheese.

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4. Go on a mini holiday with your friends

I’m not saying you need to jet off anywhere fancy, especially not given the current climate crisis. If you all live in different parts of the UK – or even in different countries – why not find a unique destination somewhere none of you have been? Picture this: a tiny cottage in the Lake District, with a fireplace perfect for cosy evenings talking over hot chocolate and some board games, close to some water for a boat ride on sunnier mornings, and bunk beds for that perfect sleepover feel. Not a fan of country escapes? Get away to a British city you’ve never explored and go to the most niche museum you can find, check out the vegan food landscape, or maybe have a night out away from the stress of essays and deadlines.

5. Get creative with some fancy dress!

Put down the half-hearted cat ears – it’s time to be a little more creative with your fancy dress costumes at least once before you graduate! Whether it’s a Halloween party or a themed night out, try going out all out: buy the basic materials and indulge in some arts and crafts to glue, sew, and tape your way to success! Bonus points for coordinating your outfit with your friends: try dressing up as Mean Girls, a group of bright yellow Minions, or even the flowerpot men!

6. Do something for charity

Whether it’s becoming a rep for the charity of your choosing or training for a sponsored half marathon, university is the perfect time to get involved in charity work and give back to the causes that matter to you in your spare time. You might even find yourself ticking off something else from this bucket list in the name of charity – taking part in a wacky activity, learning something new, or cooking up some delicious treats for a bake sale!

7. Take lots of photos – and stick them up

You’re going to want to remember all these memories you’re making – and what better way to do so than to be surrounded by photos of them? Take photos of your favourite people, moments and places, get them printed off, and stick them up around your room. Next time you’re feeling a bit stressed or sad, you’ll be grateful to be able to look up and see evidence of the good times.

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