Summer 2014 Bucket List

I know it’s only May but after months and months of chilly, cloudy weather, all this sunshine feels AWESOME. If it feels like summer then it should be summer, I decided, hence this post. What follows is a list of all the things I would like to do during the next few months. Enjoy!


Read. Anything and everything. What’s at the top of my list? The Maze Runner by James Dashner, The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series, Michael Grant’s Gone series, more Agatha Christie mysteries, and the final two books of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. I may also try The Host by Stephenie Meyer and the rest of John Green’s books but due to my experiences with their other books, those authors are not my top priority. I’ve already read more than sixty books this year, so I aim to read at least thirty-five more. And I want at least seven of those to be classics, because classics are good and I should read them more often.

Reread the books listed here. I’m especially interested in rereading Harry Potter, because I haven’t done so in ages and I think I’ve moved on to bigger and better things. But will I change my mind once again?

Go to the beach. And READ! I mean, what else would one do there?

Buy some dresses! I used to be all, “Ew, dresses!” but now I’m girlier than I once was and I think dresses are pretty. Plus, now that the weather is nicer I can finally wear dresses without being cold!

Read (and reread) a bunch of history books. I didn’t classify this as a school goal because it’s not an assignment – it’s just something I plan to do on my own time, of my own will. I’d like to read Don’t Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis from cover to cover since I have only browsed through it before. I also have a history/geography book circa the nineteen-fifties (I think it belonged to my grandma) that I’d love to read just for the vastly different perspective. And I plan to reread Joy Hakim’s ten-book A History of US series because she’s a wonderful writer of “creative nonfiction” – a genre in which I like to write.

Conquer the confusing world of make-up. There wasn’t really any reason to describe it that way, except that it makes me feel like a valiant lady knight or something. Anyway. Like Brienne of Tarth, I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO DO THE MAKE-UP THING. I love love love how it looks, but I don’t actually know how to put it on. I can handle lip gloss and mascara – duh – but I draw a complete blank with eyeliner and stuff like that. So I plan to change that. Some advice from the peanut gallery would be appreciated, hint hint.

Keep running/exercising. I hate exercising. I hate feeling sweaty. Many of my hobbies – reading, writing, using the computer – involve sitting and I would happily do those things all day, but I shouldn’t. So I keep going, running and gasping for air. Wondering if someday it will be possible to exercise just by eating chocolate.

Read some manga. I keep hearing that manga is good! So I want to try it! Do you have any recommendations? I have no idea where to start.

See a movie at the drive-in theater. I have no idea what’s playing there, but it’s kind of fun to go once or twice a year.

Wait anxiously for some movies and then see them. First, I’d like to see The Giver, even though I’m probably just setting myself up for disappointment. I also want to see The Maze Runner, and then the eighth series of Doctor Who comes out sometime in late summer.

Catch up on some TV shows. I plan to watch series three of Sherlock and all four seasons of Game of Thrones. I’ve already watched part of the first and fourth seasons but even though I’ve read the books, it would probably make more sense to watch the story in order. And I am going to cry SO MUCH when “The Mountain and The Viper” airs.

Participate in the 4-H fair. This will be my ninth year of competition so far, and I’m excited to show my projects! Though I haven’t even begun work on most of them, shhh. In particular, I look forward to displaying my photography and competing in the music project. For the latter, I am thinking about playing a Rose-Tyler-themed medley of Doctor Who music. She isn’t even my favorite companion, but wonderful music was written for her character. I already own sheet music for her main theme, and I think I could find stuff for “Doomsday.” It seems easy to learn and should sound amazing because the original version is piano-heavy anyway. (For example, pieces using predominantly violins won’t sound quite as good once transcribed to a piano.) What do you think about that idea?


Take the SAT for the third time. I’m very proud of my best writing and critical reading scores – 780 and 730, respectively, out of 800 – and upon taking the test a second time my math score jumped from five-hundred-something to six-hundred-something, but it’s still not enough. Not for math. Even though I plan to study writing, my dream college(s) require math scores of at least 710. Drat. So I will spend early summer studying formulas and whatnot in preparation for the June test.

Begin requesting letters of recommendation for the college application process. I already have a list of adults I’m going to ask. Now it’s just a matter of… asking them.

Continue to search for colleges with excellent writing programs. I’m considering five or six places, but I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to find more.

Have my senior picture taken. I can’t believe I’ll be a senior this fall! Anyway, my dad said he would take senior pictures for me so I’m excited about that. Hopefully I won’t look nearly as ridiculous as I usually do in photos.


Make new friends. I’ve never been one to have many (close) friends, but I especially don’t have a lot of friends now. We drifted apart, or fought, or whatever. So I want to meet some new people. Maybe I can do that during the Washington, D.C. trip.

Come out to my grandparents. I’m pretty sure they’ll be OK with it. I would’ve come out sooner but it never felt like the right time. Well, it’s been almost a year since I began coming out and there are still so many people who don’t know. And it makes me uncomfortable when they think I’m straight, so I need to fix that.

Try to get together with friends at least once a week. To some people, this may seem impossibly dull – I only see my friends once a week? In the summer? Well, yes. Actually, I usually hang out with friends even less often than that. I just… I don’t know. I love seeing them, but I’m also perfectly content to lose myself in a book or whatever and so I rarely get around to making phone calls and arranging when to meet up. Right now, once a week seems rather daunting to me. Urgh.

Catch up with my penpals. One of them became busy. The other doesn’t speak the same first language as I do, so writing to her requires me to consult a dictionary frequently. I miss “talking” to them both and would like to restart our habit of weekly letters.

What are your plans for this summer?


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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15 Responses to Summer 2014 Bucket List

  1. Cait says:

    Oh gosh, you’re so awesome. And I feel sooo much better knowing I’m not alone in my how-the-heck-do-you-tame-make-up. I know I should know. Buuut, I don’t. Besides, I rock the fried zombie look (I read too much) so I’ll stick with it. If I cut out ever leaving my house it doesn’t matter. *grins evilly* Dresses! I used to love dresses! I way to lazy for them now, though. XD And ohhh, gosh, GONE! I hope you like it. ^.^ I hope you don’t think I am extremely strange for liking it as much as I do. (That’s the real worry…lol.) I want to read the Maze Runner too. Actually, I’m totally going to go reserve it now. I need to stop putting it off. 😉

    • nevillegirl says:

      Haha, I wish I were awesome. 😛

      Excellent. I know there have to be some others girls my age/a little older who still have no clue about the make-up thing but I FEEL LIKE SUCH A LITTLE KID.

      I should probably reserve The Maze Runner soon too… pretty soon it’ll be hard to find a copy, what with the movie coming out in just a few months.

  2. Miriam Joy says:

    *takes out a pen* *writes at the bottom of Engie’s list in green ink*
    – Read The Quiet Ones and send Miriam comments.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Done! But… thou shalt not receive comments on TQO until tomorrow. Now go forth and study!
      (No but seriously Ani and Kay were so adorable together and !!!!!!! Knights!!)

  3. MOHE says:

    In regards to manga… well, I used to read a lot, but haven’t read much lately.
    Fullmetal Alchemist is good, and it’s funny. It’s action-based than romance, but there’s some dorky parts I’d think you’d like. You’ll also probably like Izumi Curtis.
    Yuu Watase’s Imadoki! series is more on the fluffy side, but they’re cute and I like the artist’s style.
    I like Fairy Tail by…somebody… as well. I’m not sure how to describe it, though. I vaguely recall reading something called Gothic Sports that I enjoyed. I sadly can’t recommend any queer girl romances, though. I know there are plenty, but I’ve never gotten around to any of them.
    …I think that’s about all that I can say that is constructive.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Action-based is fine. I don’t like my stories that mushy and romantic anyway. 😛
      Indeed. I’ve heard there are a number of queer girl mangas/animes*, but I have no idea where to start. Google, here I come!

      *Is the plural anime or animes or manga or mangas or what even? See, I know nothing Jon Snow but I’ve heard so much awesomeness about this genre that I’ll try it even if I have no idea what I’m doing.

      Thanks so much for the recommendations!

      • Fairy Tail is good. I’ve only read the first one, though. I recommend ChocoMimi (totally epic, name sounds really little kiddish and so does the blurb but it’s brain candy and fluff. Really awesome.), Five Centimeters Per Second, and..uhhh… That’s it I guess!

    • nevillegirl says:

      Thanks! I’ll add them to my list!

  4. Fullmetal Alchemist. I actually don’t mind Shingeki no Kyojin as well, and Death Note is amazing.

  5. orphu44 says:

    Seems like a lovely little bucket list.
    I see that you’ve already accumulated quite a number of manga suggestions, but I’ve heard good things about D-Gray Man (I think that was the title?), although I haven’t actually read it myself.
    And you seem much more organized than I am, what with all your university-related plans and whatnot.
    I should start thinking about what I want to do this summer …

  6. Erin says:

    I have no clue how to properly apply make-up so I am not the right person to ask.

    However, regarding manga…I can give you a few suggestions (I don’t actually read much manga – I watch more anime – but I know what a lot of manga is about). I would definitely, DEFINITELY recommend Fruits Basket, and I would say that it’s a great manga to start with. There are 23 volumes and it basically takes me an hour to read each one (you might even be able to find the volumes at a library). If you’re looking for something REALLY bloody and dark then try Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan). I haven’t actually read the manga but I’ve seen the anime and it’s amazing. Also, I know a lot of people (including my sister) like Hirunaka no Ryuusei, but I haven’t read it yet.

    Also, in regards to your question above regarding the plurals of manga and anime, I don’t think you add an ‘s’. At least, I never write it with an ‘s’…

  7. One manga that I’d definitely recommend is “Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan” (which roughly translates to “Our Happy Time”) by Sahara Mizu. It’s based on a Korean novel by Gong Ji-Young. The plot and characters are really well developed, but it can get kinda dark and intense at some points. The art style is also excellent. It’s not the whole stereotypical “big eyes big head small body” thing. It’s also rather short, only 2 volumes.

  8. Pingback: Quarterly Rewind, Spring 2014 – Much Ado About “Game Of Thrones,” College, And Being Queer | Musings From Neville's Navel

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