Hang out with friends. Finish the thesis. Hang out with friends. Venture outside campus and at last go to a Red Sox game. Attend one or two lectures by eminent professors and talks by famous speakers. Hang out with friends.
Those are among the most common items on seniors’ bucket lists of things to do before Commencement on May 30. With just over a month until graduation, students find themselves scrambling to finish what’s left of coursework and extracurriculars, and tick off the list of things they had put off until, well, now.
Rodrigo Cordova, who’s concentrating in astrophysics and physics with a secondary in archaeology, said high on his list is finishing a 3-foot-by-4-foot oil painting he started during his junior year, struck by the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria on his native Puerto Rico.
Cordova keeps his painting at the art studio in the Cabot House Quad. It contrasts a panorama of lush forest against a landscape of damaged homes topped with blue roofing tarps, the legacy of what is considered one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history.
“It represents my feelings about the hurricane and what it did to the island,” said Cordova, who discovered a love for painting in the eighth grade. “I really feel I have to finish the painting before I graduate because I have no idea when I’ll get to it afterward.”
There are plenty of posts and articles listing the top 10 or 100 things to do before graduation, but most students have their own yearnings. Angelica Chima had heard of a list circulating online that included some choices she found questionable, such as getting busy in Widener, running naked around Harvard Yard, or desecrating a famous landmark.
“There were things I didn’t want to do,” said Chima, who is concentrating in the history of science with a secondary in global health and public policy. “Things like jumping into the Charles River.”
What Chima does want to do is take part in Eleganza, a fashion show featuring Harvard students as models, which is often held in late April. She auditioned in the fall and she got a call back. Chima also plans to spend the time she has left here exploring Boston and New England, attending a lecture by a distinguished speaker, and reconnecting with friends she made in her first year. “In general, I’m just enjoying every day and every moment,” she said.