100 Bucket List Ideas for Teens to Do Before You Finish High School

Get your pencil out and start those check marks. We've got you covered with the best bucket list ever.

Published March 13, 2024
Teens taking selfie with phone

It's easy to let the high school years slip by super fast, but you can go one step further by making the most of this special time. Whether you're about to graduate in the spring or you've got a few years still, this teen bucket list has ideas for making your life, your friends' lives, and even your school just a little bit brighter and more fun — one check mark at a time.

Things to Do With Friends Before You Finish High School

Grab your friends (and any transportation you can access) and have these little adventures together before everyone goes their separate ways.

  • Go to a diner in the middle of the night that serves all-night coffee.
  • Stay up for the sunrise.
  • Have a must-watch movie marathon with everyone's favorite movies in it.
  • Adventure to a nearby city or town.
  • Go thrifting for a whole outfit — nothing bought new.
  • Play mini-golf in your school colors or class t-shirt.
  • Have a garage sale with your class.
  • Have a tie-dye party.
  • Go for a night swim.
  • Binge a show from start to finish.
  • Go to a water park or amusement park.
  • Host an all-night party.
  • Road trip your way across your state.
  • Go to a comic-con or gaming convention.
  • Go to a concert (not just a band concert).
  • Hold a photo shoot with your friends.
  • Have a mocktail party.
  • Camp out.
  • Go roller skating.
  • Have a bonfire.
  • Go to a carnival.
  • Find your way in a corn maze.
  • Have a food fight (personal experience says outside is best, but you do you).
  • Go on a picnic.
  • Have a beach party.

Bucket List Ideas for at School

School is a big part of your time and what you do with your life, so make sure you check a few items off the bucket list there, too. Take advantage of this time to try some new stuff and really appreciate what you already do.

  • Go to the last school dance of the year.
  • Bring in a class treat to share with everyone.
  • Join the talent show or battle of the bands.
  • Cook a thank-you meal for teachers or bring them lunch.
  • See a football game in person.
  • Organize a fundraiser for your school or organization.
  • Join a club at school.
  • Update your contacts to include your whole class.
  • Join the student council.
  • Dress from another decade's graduates for the day.
  • One word: Prom.
  • Make jewelry or a t-shirt that symbolizes your year as a class or group.
  • Decorate for a big school event with a group.
  • Play a harmless prank on someone.

Related: Harmless and Funny Pranks to Do on Friends & Adults

Bucket List Ideas for Teens to Pay It Forward

Some of the best things to do as a teenager aren't really for you at all; instead, they're paying it forward. We're talking the kids who come after you at school, your community, or anything you care about helping. This is a really great way to make your bucket list items count.

  • Volunteer at the animal shelter.
  • Clean up your world — starting in your town or neighborhood.
  • Give your parents a night off (watch younger kids, clean up the kitchen).
  • Plant some trees in your yard or at a park.
  • Volunteer at the food bank or food pantry.
  • Donate blood if you're old enough.
  • Mentor a younger kid at your school.
  • Write the perfect thank-you note to your favorite teacher.
  • Talk to someone older about their life and really listen to what they say.
  • Go to a kids' museum with younger kids.
  • Help someone out with a skill you possess.
  • Do something to make your school prettier (plant flowers, etc).
  • Write a welcome letter to an incoming freshman.
  • Volunteer at a senior center or housing complex.
  • Organize a toy donation at school or in your community.
Quick Tip

Get creative with how you want to help. You don't have to stick to the standard list. Think about what matters to you and how you can make a difference, and use your bucket list to do just that.

Things to Do to Make an Impression That's All Yours

Part of being a teenager is figuring out who you are and what that really means to the world. Make sure you have a few bucket list items that cover that, including exploring new looks, sharing your voice with the world, and doing some things that really stretch you out of your comfort zone.

  • Try a different hair color or style (really different).
  • Ask that person you've liked for years out — for real. High school will be over before you know it.
  • Speak up about what matters to you (anything).
  • Write a letter to the editor.
  • Start a YouTube channel.
  • Start a podcast by yourself or with friends.
  • Do something that scares you a little (or a lot).
  • Start a really great conversation with someone you don't already know.
  • Find a color you know you look good in, and make sure you have three items in that shade.
  • Make a list of five values that you really believe in.

Things to Do to Preserve Memories

It might not seem like it when you're sitting in class, but time is actually really flying right now. Slow it down a little and preserve some memories to look at later in life. These teenage bucket list items are all about making sure you have a record of where you've been.

  • Make a scrapbook.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Write your BFF a real letter they can keep forever.
  • Take before and after pictures for the year.
  • Create a video of your class or friend group.
  • Make some stepping stones with your hand prints and graduation year.
  • Make a time capsule.
  • Write the future you a letter and hide it behind a picture in your parents' house.
  • Make a map of your school how it is right now (remodeling will change it later).
  • Write a wish list for five years from now and put it in a book to find later.
  • Make a yearbook using a photo book app that's all about your friends and this time.

Things to Do Just for You

Some bucket list items are awesome for doing with friends, and some are just for you. If you're heading off to college or moving to a new phase of your life someday soon, being able to be on your own and take care of yourself with love is ultra important.

  • Unplug for 24 hours.
  • Bake something only you love to eat.
  • Pick one week and plan your wardrobe for that whole school week ahead of time.
  • Get the high score on a game.
  • Go to the movies alone.
  • Go out for coffee with a great book as your date.
  • Make some DIY dorm or apartment decor.
  • Learn to make a good coffee drink.
  • Get really good at giving directions to your house.
  • Make sure you have one person you can call any time of the day or night (and call them).

Teenage Bucket List Ideas to Get a Head Start on Life

Don't forget to include a few teenage bucket list items that will move you forward on your big goals. No need to get overwhelmed, though. Hit a few of these each chance you get, and you'll be so set when you need that head start.

  • Job shadow someone who does a job you might like.
  • Visit a college campus you're considering.
  • Apply for a summer job or internship you'll like.
  • Register to vote.
  • Get a driver's license.
  • Talk to a career counselor.
  • Get a jump on your reading list for a college class.
  • Start saving money.
  • Learn to cook an entire meal (appetizers, salads, main course, and dessert).
  • Buy an interview outfit.
  • Buy enough groceries and host a friend for dinner for under $20.
  • Learn a language.
  • Constructively tell someone how you'd like your food cooked slightly differently (even just a side of ketchup works for this).
  • Learn to use Uber or Lyft.
  • Get from point A to point B on public transport (in your town or on a trip).
Quick Tip

Don't stress if you haven't started your bucket list and you're getting close to graduation. You make the rules here. Pick your fave items and set your own deadline for what you're doing.

Start Checking Things Off Your Teen Bucket List

A bucket list is such a great tool for making the most of those big-deal times in our lives, and being a high schooler is a big-deal time. Get your favorite pencil out and start checking things off on your teenage bucket list. These years are flying.

100 Bucket List Ideas for Teens to Do Before You Finish High School