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Opinion | Return of the summer bucket list

by Tunae
Carrington Bryan | Visual Editor

As of late, the internet has been reminded of the “summer bucket list” phenomenon of the early 2010s. The absence of this tradition is a possible explanation for the loss of the magical summer energy from our childhoods. This took me back to my early Pinterest days, where I would browse the fun and colorful goals of Tumblr girlies who were striving to make their season the most aesthetic and oversaturated summer yet.

This reminder of my middle school years made me analyze how I have been using my summer time thus far. Being back in my hometown this summer has already been an adjustment as I try to remember how to have fun outside of my college life. Instead of spending time with friends, getting out of the house and engaging in my hobbies — work and binge-watching — are my only two activities. I’m struggling to find exciting and fun pursuits to seek out in my free time, and I think an inspirational list could be a great jumping-off point to get my summer back on track.

Not taking advantage of your time off and the sunny weather is no way to spend your unoccupied moments this summer, and we should absolutely bring back the summer bucket list to fend off any lingering post-semester depression.

Whether you’re still in Oakland or back home for the summer, being out of the swing of the regular school year can make it difficult to have a good time and stay motivated. I’m not saying you need to whip out the markers and poster board — though that may be entertaining — but having some ideas for things you want to accomplish or get done this summer can be a great reference point for when you find yourself rotting in bed instead of living it up.

While beginning to construct my bucket list, my first order of business was identifying the aspects of Pitt life that I feel I am lacking back home. Not being within walking distance of all of my closest friends has been the biggest challenge for my social life, and it’s hard to work up the motivation to socialize and catch up with my high school friends now that I’m out of Oakland. Adding a hangout with each of my local friends to the bucket list is a must to ensure that I’m getting out there and nurturing my long-term friendships.

Another thing I am missing at the moment is attending club meetings. I’m in an a cappella group, and something feels so off about not having our weekly rehearsals to rely on. Setting up a scheduled social activity would be a great way to fill the gaping holes left when you aren’t participating regularly in your student organizations. Taking a class, playing a sport or even a part-time job can feel reminiscent of that comradery and can keep you on track if you’re missing college life.

Next, we need to make some additions to the list that will make this really feel like summertime and stay true to the summer bucket list source material. Making a trip to the beach, tie-dying white clothing, having a picnic or painting with your friends could all be great and nostalgic items on your list. Anything that reminds you of the fun of your childhood summers can fit into this category, and you should definitely add a few that take place outdoors.

I’m not here to judge — my screen time is embarrassing, to say the least. But do as I say and not as I do. Let’s all try to resist the urge to waste away during the break and make the most of our time off while we can. Rest is incredibly important, but don’t forget to do all the things that can make these upcoming months really feel like summer. Channel your inner “just girly things” and make a plan for how to have a great time despite our age or responsibilities.

Ultimately, some of these summer bucket list essentials can only really be done during the warmer months, whereas there is plenty of time for bed rotting throughout the year. Make sure to not let the summer slip away without prioritizing having fun and getting out there.

Delaney Rauscher Adams is fighting the urge to rot in bed all summer. Reach out to her at

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