Editorials and Opinions

Ben Seifer Seif Says: The Diploma List

By Denebola
Published: October 2008

Kiss the most beautiful in woman the world, drive a Shelby Mustang, witness something majestic. These are just some of the things on Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freedman’s “bucket list. A list of all the things the two planned to do before they “kicked the bucket.

The producers of The Bucket List, however, failed to ask me if they could steal my idea. You see, an aged piece of crumpled, lined, paper lies tucked away between childhood books on my desk. Down the length of the page, scribbled in blue and black ink is my “Diploma List. Everything that I consider imperative to a complete high school experience is contained in 26 lines.

Its contents are inspired by all the preconceptions about high school that a host of teen movies offer, everything my parents and their friends’ stories recounted as highlights, everything I thought high school was supposed to be. One day I decided that I was not going to let that classic high school experience get away from me; if things were not happening on their own, I would make them happen. Hence the list.

Whatever your experience has been’€good, bad or you just simply can not remember’€high school is a time of your life that you can never return to once it’s over. Friends, hobbies, a certain place, and a host of other things can remain a part of your life for as long as you want. Not high school. It begins, and four years later, it ends.

I never thought I would say this, but almost four years of A-blocks, cafeteria food, and never-ending long blocks have gone by faster than I had imagined. If you still want to accomplish or experience something in high school, the time is tick-tocking away. Working your way through a “Diploma List will allow you to look back when you’re 40 years old and say things like “Sure, I made-out in between classes or “Yes. Yes I did skip an entire day of school to play video games with my friends and smoke cigars in my hot tub.

Supposedly, high school is a big milestone in a person’s life, filled with all kinds of memories and experiences. The list allows everyone to create and experience those opportunities that will create lasting memories. Even if some of the things you set out to accomplish don’t turn out that great, the list is still something fun to do when the exciting metropolis of Newton has become a little dull. Besides, with all that time freed up by the abolition of Senior Scavenger hunt¦The list constitutes a commendable replacement and or supplement.

The Diploma List isn’t a “go big or go home arrangement. Trivial achievements make the world go round. Never jumped into Crystal Lake? Take the plunge one weekend. Never made a three in the gym? Close your eyes, say a prayer, and let the ball go. These achievements, big or small, are not to impress your peers (although that’s certainly a plus); they are for your own sense of personal fulfillment.

To a large extent, we all want the same things’€good grades, athletic or theatrical recognition, and a decent social life. The Diploma List gives us a chance to set and achieve personal, unique goals. So take out a pen and start building that legacy that has little to do with your high school accomplishments and everything to do with being a teenager.

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