“I checked two things off my bucket list: diving in a coral reef and swimming with sharks!” Sophia R., age 14, Scarsdale, NY
Lots of people take stock in their lives when the New Year is approaching. They think about what they’d like to change, what they’d like to accomplish, where they’d like to go, and who they want to spend time with. These are great categories for bucket lists!
Realistically, a bucket list is actually a guide to self-improvement. By setting new personal goals and achieving them, we build ourselves up and round ourselves out with experiences, and become the person we choose to be. Challenges, both big and small, keep us moving forward and make life interesting!
If you don’t have a bucket list yet, it’s easy to start one. Be creative! Be fearless! Write EVERYTHING down you’d like to do, even if it sounds ridiculous. This approach is perfect for a first pass at a list – there are no limits to your imagination! But make sure you include what might seem like small stuff too, like eating an apple a day, or walking the dog more often.
“I want to spend my life studying marine science and doing what I can to protect the ocean.” Meredith D., age 17, Plainsboro, NJ
Next step: Reality Check! Review the list and cut out items that seem highly improbable or impossible. Make sure excuses like a lack of time, or lack of courage don’t get in the way of really good goals. Remember that a bucket list has no time limits and is ever changing. You’ll be adding new goals, crossing off accomplishments, and gaining experience, confidence, and motivation as you go.
Happy New Year to all, and a hearty congratulations to the students and staff who worked hard to cross items off their bucket lists while with us in the Caribbean.
“I’m much more willing to try new things and take risks. I was so scared being in the water and scuba diving and snorkeling, but I ended up loving everything.” Kenya F., age 17, Brentwood, TN