1. Cooking breakfast with a group of friends in the middle of the night. Just because.
2. Staying up all night talking to someone out of the blue. Walk around campus when the sun rises. Grab breakfast from the dining hall before falling into bed.
3. A road trip that was planned only days (or hours) in advance of packing up the car.
4. Finding an intellectual pursuit they are truly interested in pursuing. It doesn’t have to be your major, and it doesn’t have to be your job when you graduate but please — don’t waste four years of education without finding something you’d like to continue to learn about in your free time.
5. Learning how to say “thanks but no thanks” to someone who treats you in any way that’s less than you deserve.
6. Spending a Thanksgiving with friends instead of all going home. Learn how to cook traditional dishes in your crappy dorm kitchen, watch all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes together, toss a football around, and generally just have a great time being friends.
7. Closing down the library and the bar in the same week.
8. Trying beer pong, cups, and doing a keg stand. I’m not saying you have to do it all the time, but do it at least once for the experience, and to cross if off your bucket list.
9. Falling in love with the wrong person.
10. Taking advantage of your campus. It’s probably beautiful, and you’re paying for it so why not have bonfires or lay out in the grass or grill the quad as often as possible?
11. Forming a true friendship with at least one professor. Not only can you learn a TON from them (in and out of class) but you’ll need this if you ever want to go to grad school. Or, as someone who didn’t go to grad school, it’s just fun to be invited over to their house occasionally and share a really great meal with other alumni and talk about the subject we’re all passionate about.
12. Figuring out what you have to offer your friends and boyfriends/girlfriends that has nothing to do with how much you can drink or how fun you are at parties.
13. Trying on different versions of “you.” Join a politics club if you’ve always been interested in it, take a yoga class, learn guitar. Do as many things as possible that you’ve always thought could be part of your life and cross them off the list as they don’t click — or keep pursuing them.
14. Attending a party (or several) that for one reason or another you will never, ever forget.
15. Realizing that not all friendships last forever, and that’s okay. If you grow apart from your high school friends, or your freshman year friends, it doesn’t mean anything bad about you or them. You had a great friendship while it lasted, not everything has to last forever in order for it to be good or worthwhile.
16. Writing an op-ed for your campus paper. Why not?
17. Going outside to play in the rain where there’s a sudden rain storm on campus. You won’t be the only one.
18. “Roommate roulette.” Set your roommates up with blind dates (and allow them to set you up). Go out for a fun group activity like beach volleyball and a grill out.
19. Dancing on a table (or ten).
20. Spending an entire day in your underwear alone or with a friend or two doing absolutely nothing but eating junk food and watching Netflix.
21. Dyeing your hair a color you’ll never be able to get away with in the real world.
22. Writing a paper with original thought in it that you’re truly proud of.
23. Learning how to study when there are more fun things to do. Of course you should occasionally blow off your school work to do something crazy and fun. But you should also learn how to sit in the quiet, alone, and learn something or write a paper without putting it off until the last minute. You’ll thank yourself when you get a job and you need to have this skill.
24. Go on spring break. I know you don’t have any money but you will literally never have this opportunity again.
25. An off-campus job in your field. Work a shitty job making copies if you need to, just get your foot in the door somewhere and learn what it is people in your field actually do — and whether you really want to do it.
26. Take a philosophy 101 class and learn how to argue and think critically. This will help you in your life no matter what your major/career goals are.
27. Tailgating your football team. Paint your face and/or chest. Go nuts.
28. Initiating a prank on a rival dorm.
30. Gaining the ability to do things alone. No one wants to go to the campus event you’re dying to? Great, you can go alone. You’ll make new friends there. The more you do this, the more you’ll be prepared for hundreds of life situations you’ll have down the line that require you to be able to go somewhere alone and be confident.
31. Spending a semester abroad. Actually a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
32. Trying out for a play. Even if it’s not your major having a small part or working behind the scenes can be fun — and not the kind of thing that’s accessible once you graduate.
33. Participating in a protest on campus, or taking some kind of ideological stand.
34. Stealing trays from the dining hall to take up to the highest hill on campus after it snows, and sledding on them. (Keep your good karma by returning them the next day).
35. Having a 21st birthday party you’ll never forget.
36. Playing a sport in a rec league, or trying out for the competitive one.
37. Dating or being friends with someone who’s your complete opposite, or who you would have never considered in high school.
38. Writing something you love and sharing it at a reading. Or, another form of this (open mic night, playing your music for people, etc).
39. Rushing a sorority or fraternity, even if you don’t know whether you want to join.
40. Getting extremely hooked on a TV show and watching it regularly with a big group of people. There’s no better TV experience than gasping and laughing with a bunch of your friends as you bond over what happened this week.
41. Visiting a friend at their college and partying with people who have no idea who you are. Consider adopting an accent for the night.
42. Reading some of the really fucking great books you’re assigned. If for no other reason than to keep alive the dream that you could go on Jeopardy! and win it all.
43. Embracing the complete luxury of being able to roll out of bed and walk to class in whatever you slept in. Don’t make a habit out of it, but revel in it once in awhile — it’s definitely not an opportunity you’ll always have.
44. Throwing as many crazy theme parties in your dorm as you can. Tiki party theme, toga party theme, a ho-down, a white party — try them all.
45. Writing a script and making a short movie starring your friends. Upload it to YouTube or just screen privately it in your dorm room. Make sure you save it somewhere for the future that will survive a computer crash/upgrade.
46. Get a group of friends together and do a crazy group Halloween costume like the cast of Saved by the Bell or 90210. Take a lot of pictures.
47. Sneaking onto the roof of a campus building with a good friend, some blankets, and a bottle of wine and spending the whole night talking and admiring the view.
48. Skinny dipping somewhere on campus.
49. Doing dorky things with your roommates just because you can — leaving messages in the mirror, making lists of the things you like about each other, or building a fort on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
50. Making a long list of “future predictions” for you and all your friends. Store it somewhere safe and promise to open it and laugh in 10 years.