Anti-Bucket Lists

This is the sign you’ve been waiting for. That thing you wanted to say? SAY IT! That thing you were too scared to do? DO IT! 

Image Credit: Marko Cindric

Or, you know, maybe don’t. ‘Cause COVID is a thing. 

We’ve all been at that crossroads to make a choice at some point or other; from something as seemingly simple as how to tell our best friend we like them, to deciding to fly out on a leisurely trip half way across the world in the spur of the moment, there’s always decisions to be made, and choices to tick off bucket-lists. 

There is always a sense of curiosity and “what-could-be?” each individual wants to chase, and that looks different for everyone. I got the chance to ask some students what they might want to do someday, and the answers varied from building treehouses to flying a plane, to seeing the Northern Lights or the Pyramids, making movies, and even getting a cat. A lot of the time what we want to do seems extravagant with how they fit in our lives. However yours may look, bucket-lists are made to plan out the exciting things we want to do eventually, and on some level we all have an idea of what those things are. 

But I challenge you this, take a second to think about all the things you would NEVER do, no matter how the situation presents itself. You’ll be surprised how much you’d find out if you took a second to dwell. These are just as much a part of you, as the more romanticised bucket-list items. Maybe some things are just common sense, but the reminder may be helpful.

Image Credit: Crystal Wong

The same people whose bucket-lists consisted of travel, art, and music tours, were asked about things they would NEVER do, but seemed to have more difficulty coming up with ideas. Realistically we all know the things that are bad; like don’t do hard drugs (a very common one), etc., and don’t hurt others. Yet, the responses I got were things I personally wouldn’t have considered, ranging from never wanting to sing publicly or go hunting, not eating specific foods like liver or insects, to not wanting to go on crazy roller coasters. Sometimes the things we don’t want to do may tap into our fears (reasonably so) like going scuba diving in open water, or skydiving, or the C.N. Tower edgewalk. They are all daunting tasks. 

I feel like when we think of what we would do if given the chance, our thoughts go to more explorative activities, like travelling, and not so much what represents our character. No one really said how they absolutely have to ask someone out at a picnic, but one person said they would never ask someone out over a text. Other people said they would never be conservative, or pretend to be someone they aren’t. These things seem so much simpler, but just as someone wanting to go see the Northern Lights might tell you about them as a person, the things they don’t want you to do will tell you just as much. 

For me personally, I don’t ever want to get lasik eye surgery, or be in an open space with reptiles, and I never want to stop taking chances. To me, these things come naturally to avoid, but it is different for everyone, and they are what make me who I am, at least a little bit. We collect the moments we have been a part of,  everything we have experienced is stored in some; the good and the bad, and whatever is to come.

Image Credit: William Turgeon

We often dwell on the things we can’t do, and these past few months our thoughts have fed on that for many people. One day, I hope each of you will get to check off your bucket-list items, and absolutely never come in contact with the things you don’t want to do (or possibly conquer your aversions, who knows). So I challenge you to ask someone 3 things they would never do, and have that conversation, who knows what you might find out. 

Posted in Blog.

Reem is a Third Culture Kid from Saudi Arabia, and has lived in six different places her whole life. She is currently a second-time first-year student, having transferred to New Media this past year. She’s passionate about books, dance, and is open to trying new things. She wants to make a positive impact in some way through community work and advocacy. Fiction writing has always been her forte, but she wanted to try something new this year!

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