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Bucket Lists for Teens

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

Teens volunteering...maybe this was on their bucket list?

Teens volunteering...maybe this was on their bucket list?

You might be wondering why a teen should have a bucket list. Don't they have their whole lives ahead of them? Well, maybe not. And even if they do, a bucket list will serve as a wonderful roadmap to help teens accomplish their dreams.

A bucket list for teens could be their goals actually written down somewhere. I have often heard the first step to accomplishing one's goals is to write them down, and the second one is to look at the list often. This also holds true with bucket lists.

Often teens have the right idea of the perfect career for themselves. But once they talk to other adults including parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and well-meaning friends, they change their minds. Having a bucket list that includes career goals will help teens decide what they really want to do with their lives regarding their careers, travel, marriage, family, hobbies and life experiences.

Here's an example of what a teen's bucket list might look like:


  • Go to college to become a teacher
  • Work with Vista Volunteers to teach in inner-city areas to see if this is the type of job I want
  • Work with Teach for America
  • Learn Sign Language
  • Learn one other language other than English so I can communicate with more students
  • Volunteer with students in a low-income area (This could be in a school setting or a drop in learning program that tutors children after school, etc.)


  • Take a trip to Paris because I want to see the Eiffel Tower
  • Buy my own first car
  • Drive cross country with Emma, Susan, and Katie the summer after high school
  • Take at least one cruise
  • Backpack across Europe with a group of friends
  • Go Disney World at least once
  • Go to every Disney Land/ World in the US and outside the US
  • Join the Peace Corps


  • Learn how to water ski
  • Learn how to knit to blankets for the homeless, then find a group to donate the blankets to
  • Learn to crochet
  • Take a digital photography class to use when I travel
  • Publish a book of my travel photographs
  • Write a novel Take a painting class Learn how to play the piano


  • Get married to a person that makes me so happy I don't want to be without him/her
  • Have at least two children
  • Home school my future children through elementary school
  • Run 20 miles per week
  • Adopt a dog from a pound or Humane Society
  • Read the Bible at least once, cover to cover
  • Always be a volunteer whether it be through church or a community non-profit organization
  • Include my children in my volunteering experiences whenever possible

Unlike an adult's bucket list, which is usually made after they have reached adulthood and met some of the goals on here (education, marriage, etc.) a teen's bucket list encompasses many goals for different parts of their present and future.

In writing them down, they have a guide map for what they want to accomplish in their lifetime. Although things can always be added, having this guideline from when they were young helps keep clear in their minds and hearts what they have wanted to accomplish from a young age.

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If you are a teen who is reading this, I challenge you to start a bucket list of your own. It will give you a direction to shoot for in your life, and it's fun to look at your list and cross off items you have wanted to do and accomplished.

If you are a parent reading this, show this article to your teen, and encourage them to start a bucket list of their own. Better yet, you can each create one, and keep each other updated when you have accomplished things on the list. Creating bucket lists with your teen is a way to share a lifetime of accomplishing goals, and even better if you can accomplish some of them together to strengthen parent/child bonds. This is true no matter how old you are: 16 and 46, or 46 and 76!

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Anna Javier on October 03, 2020:

That's great goal setting. Thanks for the article. I better start my kids on their own bucket list.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on May 06, 2013:

awsome teen,

So glad you liked the article and that it inspired you...and maybe a few of your friends. And thanks for the explanation on your username. When I saw the comment was from someone with that username I was a bit concerned as to what I would find as a comment. I certainly hope you make that bucket list and use it to have an awesome life!

Bitemeplease on May 06, 2013:

I am a teen almost a driver,and karen after reading that above i said to myself "man i so should make one for myself " i always wondered what others would do before they were taken home to their maker...but never have i ever thought of making my own , you surly have inspired me to do so thank you so much for the best idea really!! i love this !!!

i think every teen should make one and i will defantly pass it on to my classmates and friends to do and share with their friends and people they know too!!thanks again really1!!!


awsome teen

p.s. my username was a joke its not true sorry for the confusion i am normally called awsome teen!! thanks.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on March 16, 2013:


I think it would be great if teachers somehow incorporated bucket lists into their lesson plans for kids in high school. Imagine what a great impact that could have on kids lives.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on March 16, 2013:

Thanks Melchi. I hope that some of the youth of today read this and make their bucket lists sooner rather than later. Although I guess any time at all in life is a good time for a bucket list!

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on March 16, 2013:


You are most welcome. Always glad to help!!!

Dianna Mendez on March 15, 2013:

Excellent advice and list for teens. I wish I would have had one when I was young. It is always a good thing to put your dreams down on paper and to plan. Thanks for the share.

Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on March 15, 2013:

Great message here Karen and so important for the youth of today. Loved it!

Lizam1 on March 13, 2013:

Thanks for the hub idea Karen!

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on March 13, 2013:


And the younger you are when you start dreaming BIG, the more dreams you can make actually happen! Thanks for dropping by.

DemiT on March 13, 2013:

I agree with you Karen, making a bucket list is not just about making the list and look at it, but it is about dreaming (as billybuc said) BIG !! The younger you are, the better! Dreaming, planning, experiencing, having set backs is about living your life to the fullest! Love it :)

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on March 12, 2013:

That's so cool that you do a vision board with your kids. Have you written a hub about it? It sure would make a good subject for one!

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on March 12, 2013:

Thanks Joe. You came to the bucket list party late? I am surprised by that. You are welcome for sharing it.

Karen Hellier (author) from Georgia on March 12, 2013:


If that's what you got out of it...great. Sounds good to me! Thanks for stopping by.

Lizam1 on March 12, 2013:

Never too young or too old for a bucket list. I am happy to say that when I write down a goal or a deram I can usually make it come true in some way or another, even get suprised by how those things happen! My teens and I make a vision board each year.

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on March 12, 2013:

Good morning, Karen!

Buckets are fun and useful at any my first one when I was just a toddler playing in the sand.

So the concept of bucket lists--setting goals, tweaking them, the "feel-good" moments of achievement, the "okay, back to the drawing board" times of revision--is a terrific one for any age.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful and original presentation with us, Karen!

One who came late to the bucket list party but who now realizes its awesome value,


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 12, 2013:

I love the message behind this, or at least the message I decided upon....start dreaming big when you are young and able to enjoy all the things on the list....plan, alter the plan, but keep dreaming. Great job Karen.

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