Time flies….my graduation date is looming like a dark cloud in the distance….and I’m having a mid-undergrad crisis moment. Have you ever had one of those? It’s similar to a midlife crisis, except this level of anxiety is reserved specifically for undergraduates. There is simply too much to learn and accomplish in such a short period of time! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to leave UMD with any regrets. With only a year left to grow and expand as a college student, I compiled a bucket list for myself so I can prioritize what I want to give the most energy to. Here are some ideas if you want to make an Undergraduate Bucket List too!
1. Travel: Study / Intern / Volunteer Abroad
If you ever had any desire to go abroad, then you should do it. You can go for a few weeks out of the year on a winter break or May term trip, or go for an entire year or just a single semester. Try to keep an open mind, and don’t get dissuaded from travel just because of money. There are scholarships and financial aid you can apply for and programs vary in price, you just have to be willing to ask for guidance. Visit the UMD International Education Office website to look at different programs and make an appointment with an advisor to discuss possible options. Don’t feel like you have to commit to anything right away, just explore your options. If you are interested in working or finding an internship abroad, counselors at Career Services can help you get started with your search. GoingGlobal is a great way to view job listing and research different cultures and countries.
2. Obtain an On-Campus Leadership Role
Refine your leadership skills and build up your resume! Trying on some different hats! Here are some ideas:
- Teacher’s Assistant
- Rock Star
- Student Advisor / Peer Advisor
- On Campus Job
- Tour Guide
- Instructor of a RSOP fitness class
- Captain of an intramural sport
- President / Vice president / Secretary / Treasurer / Active team member of a club
3. Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP)
So you’re not going to believe me, but there is a way to research anything that your creative spirit yearns to know and actually get paid for it. For the artistically inclined, you can propose a creative project (write a play, create a film, or choreograph a dance) and get paid. Yes. This is actually a real thing that exists. The first step is to find a mentor, come up with an idea, and then write up a proposal. This is a competitive process, so make sure your proposal is well crafted. The deadlines for UROPs can be tricky because applying for the next semester happens during the middle of the current semester.
Note: Cody wrote a more in-depth post about the UROP, so if you’re interested, check it out!
4. Internship / Shadowing /Volunteer
Get some experience underneath your belt by finding an opportunity to be an intern, a volunteer or to shadow someone in a profession you’re interested in. Paid or unpaid, experience is experience, and it’s a wonderful resume builder. GoldPASS is good place to start if you are searching for internships (http://goldpass.umn.edu/). Career Service provides regular workshops on how to find internship opportunities, so keep an eye on our events calendar! If you are interested in volunteering, the Office of Civic Engagement would be a fantastic resource for you.
Note: Cody wrote a great blog post about unpaid internships!
5. Work for The Basement and/or The Statesman
Whether you consider yourself a journalist or not, practicing your communication skills by getting involved in The Basement on KUMD or The Statesman could be a good move. You don’t have to participate as a DJ or be a writer to be involved. I have friends that take pictures for the newspaper, or participate by sorting through music for The Basement. There are multiple ways to contribute!
6. Join A Club / Intramural Sport
When will you have the chance to try slack lining or maple syruping or cosmic bouldering or scuba diving? It’s likely that this will be your only chance! Use it as a unique networking opportunity and meet people that are involved in different disciplines and areas of study.
Other Ideas for Undergraduate Students at UMD:
- Be Civically Engaged by connecting with the Civic Engagement Center
- Attend a play and dance concert
- Listen to music in the Webber Music Hall
- Visit the Multicultural Center
- Go into the Tweed Museum
- Take an RSOP class
Creating a bucket list prioritizes your time and helps you make career moves that expand you as an individual. Allow yourself to experience new things so you don’t miss out on the discovery of your real passion. Although joining a club and interacting with strangers can be a little uncomfortable, the more you practice, the easier it will become. Being able to communicate and work with people of different backgrounds and personalities is an invaluable skill out in the “real world.” By creating goals and making the most of your time here, you’ll become a well-rounded candidate with a wide assortment of skills that employers will find impossible to ignore.