Poll: What's on your bucket list?

The average student life is ruled by the demands of classes, homework and occasionally recovery, though a few hours of fleeting slumber. Despite this, students cannot cast aside the real passions in their lives of the hobbies and interests they truly hold dear to their hearts. A group of Santa Monica College students dive deep into their bucket lists and describe what they hold dear and what gives them escape from the pressures of academia and the always present shadow of a GPA.

Elinor Nahmani

Tellez_Nancy_H&L-8Elinor Nahmani has a big dream of changing the world. Through filmmaking and activism, she wishes to create a world without hatred in which everyone is equal. Through the creation of movies promoting equality and by working with feminist and Middle Eastern organizations, Nahmani has faith that she will have a positive influence on the world. She underlines the importance of collaboration and shares that “It’s a lifetime mission. You wake up every morning and do one small thing towards that, even if it’s writing an essay, reading an article about it, talking to people, or posting something on your Facebook or Twitter about it.”


Kenny Essandoh

Tellez_Nancy_H&L-3Kenny Essandoh introduces himself as Chocolate Bear and shares that his life goals are getting an A in microbiology and retire happily by the age of 65. He hopes to then be surrounded by the people he loves, enjoy his accomplishments, and feel content with life. With a “nice beautiful wife who is educated and has her own job,” he hopes to have a family of two boys and travel to Africa, Japan, Sweden and New York. He describes happiness as waking up every morning and knowing that it’s a beautiful day and once he retires plans on “longs walks on the beach, reminiscing on my younger days, and if I still can have sex…” Until then Essandoh will focus on becoming a nurse practitioner.


Amanda Ricciardi

Tellez_Nancy_H&L-7“The only thing I really want to do is transferring!” exclaims Amanda Ricciardi. She is a Santa Monica College student majoring in business whose only dream is to transfer to the University of Southern California. She is very focused on her studies and hopes to one day manage her own make-up business. “I want to be my own boss,” she shares. Ricciardi considers the tuition fees for the private school very high but believes that the program is worth it. She hopes to get financial aid and scholarships to financially support herself and eventually obtain her masters.




Jesús Vásquez Cipiano

Tellez_Nancy_H&L-2Jesús Vásquez Cipiano's number one bucket list dream is to do a dance performance in front of a crowd. He is not sure what kind of dance style he would pick but thinks it’ll either be modern, ballet, or a Latin dance. He shares that people have told him that the experience is very unique and cannot be fulfilled through any other venture. Cipiano loves dancing because it allows him to tap into his “different fountains of joy in life.” He enjoys engaging his body and mind rhythmically with music and would like to do the performance with a group of people. “I am very community oriented and I think there’s times that people are too individualistic. Therefore I would love to perform together with group of people with similar mentalities and purposes in life and harness all energy in that one space and time.” He adds that he aims make people aware of social injustices through his performances. Cipiano intends to fulfill his dream by next summer and continue dancing for the rest of his life.


Andrea Gonzalez

Tellez_Nancy_H&L-6Andrea Gonzalez's number one bucket list dream is to ocean skydive. She shares that she feels very connected to the planet and that the ocean is her favorite place. Heights do not scare her and a hint of excitement cannot be missed when she explains that ocean skydiving entails jumping from a plane and landing on an inflatable bed from which one bounces into the water. If she had the money she would give it a shot right away. She acknowledges that ocean skydiving is very dangerous but believes it will connect her to the earth and her fears, “I think it will free my soul from the fear of dying.”

Daniel Paz

Tellez_Nancy_H&L-1The number one dream on Daniel Paz's bucket list is to go skydiving. He likes to live life adventurously and considers skydiving the ultimate thrill “Growing up I was told that we live only once and so I want to enjoy [life].” Despite what one might think, Paz is very afraid of heights. He shares that he once went rock climbing but didn’t dare to go down after reaching the top. His fellow climbers had to call fire trucks to get him down. However, he believes that skydiving will help him to overcome his fears and has already planned on diving this coming August. Disguised as an innocent vacation trip, he will trick his girlfriend into jumping with him on her birthday. “She is even more scared of heights than me so she’ll probably break up with me… it’s okay,” he confesses with a smile.


Paige Gruenwald

Tellez_Nancy_H&L-5Paige Gruenwald's dream is to travel to India and temporarily live amongst Buddhist Monks. She would like to find a Guru that would train her into finding peace through meditation and yoga. Gruenwald shares that she does not feel entirely at peace right now but says that that is okay because she is not done with her journey yet. “My goal would be to be at peace with only myself, not the new iPhone, a person to love you, that thing, this thing, and keep chasing happiness.” She aims to find happiness within and aims to do so by the age of 30.





Chelsea Trask

Tellez_Nancy_H&L-4Chelsea Trask wants to travel as much as possible. The countries highest on her bucket list are India, China, Australia, Russia, and Ireland. She has friends that live in those countries and would like to visit them while exploring new areas and studying people their cultural behaviors from an outside perspective. “I am fascinated with different cultures and the interaction between people worldwide versus American society.” She explains that it is very important to plan ahead of time to be able to take time off of work and save enough money to cover the traveling expenses. Trask is currently working two jobs as a lifeguard and nanny and has a career goal of becoming a stuntwoman one day.