Kick the bucket list


Jacquelyn Sussman, Assistant Business Manager

Have you ever heard of “Carpe Diem?”  What about the expression “Don’t let life pass you by?” Do any of those ring a bell?

For those of you that either don’t speak Latin or have been deprived of the knowledge of the definition of Carpe Diem, its literal meaning is “to urge someone to make the most of the present time and give little thought to the future,” according to   The more commonly-known definition is “seize the day.”

In modern teenager language, the equivalent of “seize the day” is Nike’s slogan “make it count.”  This slogan encourages people to live in the moment and to make lasting memories in order to make life worthwhile.  In his Ted Talk “Want to be happier? Stay in the moment,” scientist Matt Killingsworth proved this when he said “what are the big causes of happiness? … I think something that has the potential to be an answer is that maybe happiness has an awful lot to do with the contents of our moment-to-moment experiences.”

Emma Ruchefsky ’15 certainly has a zest for life. “[Being alive] means to enjoy every little thing in life, and not take anything for granted,” Ruchefsky said. “I think that life is an amazing thing if you learn to appreciate it, and if you don’t appreciate it then it won’t be worth living.”  Ruchefsky also said that she organized the experiences she wants to have in her life before she dies, a.k.a. a bucket list.

No, the term “bucket list” did not originate from the 2007 movie “The Bucket List” that starred Morgan Freeman.  Rather, it has a creepy history.  According to, the term “bucket list” traces all the way back to the Middle Ages, when a common form of death was execution by hanging. When a person was about to die, they would kick the bucket they were standing on from underneath their feet and die.

On a lighter note, many Staples students already have ideas of life experiences they want to have.  For Nicole Kiker ’17, she wants “to go to every continent, skydive, and learn to scuba dive,” she said.  Similarly, Ruchefsky’s bucket list included travel as well, as she said “I want to go to Africa or Spain, I want to go the the top of the Eiffel tower, [and] I want to go the the Grand Canyon.”

Travel seems to be a shared desire for Staples students.  Thomas Moy ’17, in addition to travelling the world, has “always had this dream the I would go to every baseball stadium in the country.”  By contrast, some students are interested in experiences rather than travel.  “I want to go skydiving when I turn 18,” Zoe Mezoff ’17 said.  Mezoff later added that “[what it means to be alive is] being able to take risks and not being afraid of failure or things not going as planned.”

Naturally, what it means to be alive varies from person to person.  For former Staples student Arin Kaye ’17, “[being alive] for me is defined by being surrounded by the people I most care about.  No material possession could ever replace that,” Kaye said.