On Feb. 21, 2011, The Daily Tar Heel published a bucket list of 100 things UNC students should do before they graduate.
During their first year at UNC, seniors Bryce Edwards, Joe Townsend, Patrick Hahn, Teresa Nguyen and pharmacy graduate student Faustina Nguyen decided to tackle the bucket list.
“We were bored and didn’t know what to do. Patrick actually came across this bucket list that was published in the DTH, and we said, ‘Oh, it’d be kinda fun,” Townsend said.
What originally started as a spontaneous solution to boredom quickly developed into a long-term project for the friend group.
“I would say the beginning of our second semester of freshman year, we decided that we were really going to commit to doing all 100 list items and documenting the whole thing,” Townsend said.
Townsend is an aspiring documentary filmmaker and cinematographer who has committed to filming and editing the entire bucket list adventure.
“Now, we’re not just friends — we’re a team. We’ve learned to use each other’s strengths to accomplish goals,” Townsend said.
The five friends, who have been close since their first year of high school, said the bucket list has become something they hope to look back on in the future.
“It will definitely be a thing of like, ‘Aw man, do you remember that time that we did that thing for the bucket list?’ or that, ‘We should go to this place for lunch,’ and we only know about it because of the bucket list. So I would say it definitely has become a key feature,” Edwards said.
Over the past four years, the group has completed 87 of the 100 items.
They’ve tried every Alpine Deli & Cafe sandwich, rushed Franklin Street after a UNC victory over Duke University, lain out on the Wilmington Beach and played racquetball at Fetzer Gym.
Faustina Nguyen pointed out that her favorite memories were often the ones born out of creativity.
“The most fun thing that we’ve done would probably be going to Davis Library and checking out a book from each floor. We made it a game — we had a minute to find the most interestingly titled book on each floor,” she said.
Teresa Nguyen, Edwards and Townsend all agreed that the bucket list project enhanced their college experience and opened them up to opportunities they would not have sought out otherwise.
“I honestly, personally think, that the bucket list should be given out at freshman orientation, so they can look it at it and see what there is to do — to just have a list of possibilities and opportunities,” Edwards said.
“I think it’s something that everybody should take a look at.”