19 things to do senior year before graduating high school saamya Mungamuru

Amidst the stress of last-minute testing, filling out college applications and the painful anticipation of admission decisions, it’s easy to forget that the last stretch of senior year is all that remains for most students to spend with friends and family at home in Marin County. There is plenty to do around here that you might never get the chance to do after graduation, be it something you’ve never tried before, or your favorite weekend activity that you will bring to college as a memory, wrapped in a blanket of nostalgia. The second semester of senior year is your time to explore Marin—to have those little adventures with your closest friends and loved ones while you still can. Here is a list of 19 things (in no particular order) that the class of 2019 should do one last time—or for the first time—before graduation.

1. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

We’ve all driven across it countless times to and from the city, but how many times have you walked across it? Join the tourists for a day and enjoy the cool bay breeze and sweeping views on the nearly two-mile trek to the other side of the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. Don’t forget to take some selfies!

2. Attend a march, rally or parade in the city.

Every year, the streets of San Francisco are abuzz with various events, including parades for St. Patty’s Day in March and Pride in June or races like Bay to Breakers in May. Before you graduate, attend at least one of these memorable celebrations with your friends or family. Dress up and have fun!

3. Paint the Spirit Ball.

Spend an afternoon one weekend participating in the age-old school tradition: repainting the Redwood Spirit Ball. Since its introduction to the campus in 1971, the Spirit Ball is estimated to have five inches layered onto it through 42 years of being painted and repainted by students. Grab a couple of cans of spray paint and show some spirit, whether by painting positive messages or works of art.

4. Pull an all-nighter marathoning your favorite movies or old TV shows.

At this point in your high school career, the word all-nighter probably conjures painful memories of caffeinated nights spent cramming for a history test or Spanish presentation. Replace these with the memories you actually want to take away from senior year. Order some classic Stefano’s pizza, lay back and spend the night binge-watching the Harry Potter movies or “Friends” with your friends. “Mr. Bean” and “Tom and Jerry” aren’t bad options either; your six-year-old self would be beaming.

5. Go camping.

Marin is enveloped in natural beauty—the ocean, the bay and Mount Tam are just a short drive away from home. Take advantage of our location. Pack a tent and some supplies and spend a night camping with your friends. Point Reyes, Stinson, Angel Island and the Marin Headlands are great options with some epic views you’re definitely going to miss once you’re gone.

Point Reyes National Seashore

6. Spend a day hitting all the tourist spots in San Francisco.

Take the ferry to San Francisco in true tourist style and visit all the famous attractions that make the city special. Whether you decide to head down to Fisherman’s Wharf for some clam chowder and the company of sea lions, grab a sundae at Ghirardelli Square, relax in the backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge at Baker Beach or escape to Alcatraz, you won’t regret being a tourist in your own city for a day.

7. Get a scoop from Lappert’s Ice Cream in Sausalito and take a stroll downtown.

Lappert’s Ice Cream: arguably the creamiest, tastiest ice cream served in the most charming downtown of Marin. Get a scoop or two of delicious Kauai Pie, Macadamia Nut or classic Chocolate at Lappert’s in downtown Sausalito and take a walk by the water, with beautiful views of the Bay and the San Francisco skyline.

8. Watch the sunset.

Watching the sunset is a classic weekend routine for many because we simply can’t get enough of the vibrant pink-orange cotton candy skies gracing our eyes and our cameras every evening. Drive down to Stinson or Rodeo Beach, or up to Bolinas Fairfax Ridge on Mount Tam for some sweet views. You’ll wish you were never leaving.

Stinson Beach

Bolinas Fairfax Ridge

9. Hike to the peak of Mount Tam.

In the mood for a hike? If you have a few extra hours, get on the Matt Davis Trail to Old Railroad Grade to reach the East Peak. Take the time to hike to the topmost peak of Mount Tam. At an elevation of 2,571 feet, you’ll feel like you’re standing on a slice of heaven because you will literally be above the clouds, with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and the city. Bonus points if you bring your dog.

10. Attend a concert at Sweetwater Music Hall.

Often featuring Redwood musicians, Sweetwater Music Hall and Cafe in Mill Valley is the perfect way to spend a relaxing evening. The buoyant atmosphere due to the usually large turnout paired with beautiful live music is what makes the venue particularly appealing to wind down after a tiring week. Be sure to visit one of the open-mic nights or concerts at Sweetwater soon, particularly if a Redwood student is performing.

11. Go to a Redwood sports game.

No better time to support the Giants than in the final stretch of senior year, while you still can. Show up to as many games as you can and cheer for our athletes. Wear your senior jerseys, red and black beads or dress according to the game themes and display your Giant pride. Go, Giants!

Photo Courtesy of Alexa Erickson

12. Watch a Redwood drama play.

The EPiC drama program really does produce some epic plays. From Micetro to Motherlode, drama students work hard to put on plays with powerful messages or shows that reach the heights of hilarity. Check out the drama schedule and attend at least one play before June to be entertained by Redwood’s talented actors.

13. Play Hide-and-Seek or tag at the mall.

Unleash your goofy side. Band a group of your friends together and drive to Northgate mall or The Village at Corte Madera. Instead of shopping around, save your cash for college and instead play a thrilling game of hide-and-seek or run around chasing each other for tag. If you’ve seen the movie “Tag,” you know you’re never too old for these classic childhood games. Yes, people may stare and judge, but who cares? You’re seniors.

14. Visit your old middle school.

The sight of your old middle school campus may bring back awkward or uneasy memories, so it’s understandable if you haven’t been back to visit since your middle school graduation. However, now that high school is inching toward the finish line and you may have an idea of what you’re going to be doing for the next four years, there is a good chance that your old teachers want a life update. Visit your old classrooms and catch up with your teachers, they’ll be overjoyed to see you.

15. Get brunch on a Sunday morning (or every Sunday morning).

Chocolate chip pancakes, french toast with fresh berries, omelets and hash browns are the staples of any fulfilling Sunday morning. There are several breakfast and brunch restaurants around town that offer these delicious items and so much more. Roll out of bed and make your way to Half Day Cafe in Kentfield, Dipsea Cafe in Mill Valley or New Morning Cafe in downtown Tiburon for the perfect way to top off your weekend.

16. Watch a movie at the Lark Theater.

The Lark Theater on Magnolia has been a local landmark since 1939. However, it is often overlooked by our generation. To support this historic monument, book one of their evening shows and attend with your family. They usually play independent and classic films, so it will be a refreshing change from the mainstream movies you might catch at Century.

17. Go roller-skating or mini golfing.

A fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon is to go roller-skating at Cal Skate in Petaluma, or to go mini golfing at Urban Putt in the city. As opposed to driving around and getting food, the most typical (sometimes boring) way to hang out with friends, these unique activities will spice up your weekend plans.

18. Take a road trip to Tahoe with your friends.

Senior year isn’t quite complete unless you go on a road trip with your entire friend group. What’s a more classic destination than Lake Tahoe? Ski week is a great time to head up there for a snowy good time, but the weeks leading up to summer are also prime for swimming and paddleboarding. No matter the time of year, it’s always a blast.

19. Read the Bark cover to cover.

Do it. It’s a dare.

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