Nearing the end of high school, some seniors create their own bucket lists


Photo illustration by Sam Barton

People make a lot of lists: Christmas lists, to do lists, grocery lists. But not many people make bucket lists. Bucket lists are lists of things people want to do before they die — or “kick the bucket,” as they say. But some Fairmont seniors are giving bucket lists a spin, coming up with goals to achieve before they graduate.

Katie Johns, a Fairmont senior, is a member of the marching band and sings in choir. But she started the school year with ideas for things she wanted to do before leaving Fairmont.

“I want to learn how to play a new instrument,” Johns said earlier this school year. “I think it would be cool to be able to play different instruments.”

Johns, who already plays piccolo and flute, went to all of the Indoor Percussion clinics this fall to learn how to play the cymbals. She tried out recently, and she’s now enjoying her first year as a Fairmont percussionist. Check!

Brad Steel, who graduated from Fairmont in 2014, set a fine example for “bucket list” achievement his last year at Fairmont. He decided to get very involved his senior year.

“I joined Theatre, National Honor Society and Class Council,” Steel said.“I grew up playing Pee Wee football, and I loved the community and felt like I needed to give back.” Steel’s Fairmont experience didn’t even end at the end of the school year; he volunteered his time this past summer. “I helped coach the freshman football team.”

As it turns out, Steel’s senior year involvement helped him decide that a career in theater may be just the thing for him.

“I’m currently pursuing a double major in theater,” said Steel, who attends Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He’s been in two theatre productions so far in his freshman year and is looking even further down the road.

“I’m auditioning to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London next fall,” Steel said, adding that if he picks a concentration, it would be either acting or directing.

Some Fairmont seniors are also still searching for inspiration on what to do after high school.

“Next year, I actually have to start becoming more serious — whether I am in college or catching a break in the movie industry,” said senior Zack Altimimi.

But meanwhile, Altimimi wants to make his last year memorable.

“I want to have a great senior year so I can tell my kids and grandkids about my life,” he said. “I will always remember my senior year.”

Having been year in been through his senior year, Steel has some advice for current students.

“Always have an open mind,” he said. “You never know what you’re going to like; your passion could change for something else.”