Bucket List

By Anna Hanuska

After a semester of reflecting on (and bragging about) every single high school achievement to college admission officers, I need a bit of a break. I could offer advice, condense my experience with a moral lesson, or emphasize the things I’ll miss, but most of high school consisted of small, individual moments that can’t be summarized so succinctly. Instead, I’ll go over some random accomplishments by revisiting a bucket list I made as part of my English Honors final freshman year. I honestly did not expect to complete any of the items during my time at Westmont, but here are the ones I attempted:

  1. Ride in a hot air balloon.

I have family in New Mexico (which is known for hot air balloons) so I was able to complete this one!

  1. Write a song and play it.

This idea was originally meant to be for the accordion, since I played for ~7 years, but I stopped playing after Freshman year to pursue other hobbies. However, I did do something fairly similar, though not as musical: writing a poem. I wrote several poems for The Shield, one of which was about how much I hate writing and prefer math. Look at me now! Four years of Honors/AP English classes, an editor for the school newspaper… if only Sophomore Anna realized the irony of writing a poem about hating writing.

  1. Become fluent in another language.

I really wanted to become fluent in German because I (voluntarily) attended a German Saturday school. I am still very much not fluent, but I did spend a year in a class of native speakers (I am not one), so I’d consider this one as completed as can be in such a few short years. If you ever want to hear my presentation on the Glockenspiel in München, give me a call.

  1. Watch the Olympics in person

I did the next best thing to watching the Olympics: I finally watched (and paid attention to) one of my brother’s soccer games! I don’t think any professional sport could compare to watching my little bro (freshman Luke Hanuska) dominate at being a goalie.

  1. Make chocolate fudge

This one I actually did! So many times! I have written multiple fudge recipes for The Shield, and before Covid I would even bring in samples for the class to try.

  1. Sew myself an outfit

I made myself some PJ pants! And I started my second Princess Anna dress. I am still working on the whole everyday outfit thing, but I did get pretty far on this list item.

  1. Meet the Guardians of the Galaxy

A friend gave us a tour of a Disney animation office building and I saw a life-sized statue of Groot. I think that counts.

  1. Shark cage or swimming with sea turtles

My family went on vacation to Hawaii and I did in fact see a sea turtle in the wild open ocean. It was very magical. 

The rest of my bucket list consisted of things I don’t even want to do anymore. Since I’m starting a new chapter of my life this year, here is my new bucket list!

  1. See fireflies

I’m attending Purdue University, which is in Indiana. I have never seen a firefly before, and since they’re Indiana’s state insect, I’m hoping I will!

  1. Attend a workout class

Purdue’s CoRec (aka gym) offers fitness classes in things like yoga, and it would be really cool to try that out!

  1. Visit a friend

I want to visit one of my friends at a different college! Ella Nghiem will be less than 4 hours away at her school in Wisconsin!

  1. See fall

Ok so I know this is a really basic one because EVERYONE sees fall, but living in California, I’ve never gotten to experience a full season of colorful fall leaves! So I’m pretty hyped about that.

  1. Go to a corn maze

Again, another fall in the midwest thing, but I hear there is lots of corn in Indiana, so I’m willing to bet that there are also corn mazes. I’m irrationally excited to see all the corn everyone talks about.

  1. Bring a friend home to visit

It’s not like there is much to do here other than look at palm trees and inhale wildfire smoke. However, it would be nice to have my family meet one of the people I spend all my time with!

  1. Support my siblings

At least once, I want to come home at a time that allows me to support one of my siblings’ activities, like my brother’s soccer game or my sister’s play.

  1. Chicago-style pizza

Do I know what Chicago-style pizza is? No. Am I gluten free? Yes. Will I be able to find a restaurant in Chicago that claims to have gluten-free chicago-style pizza? Hopefully.