101 things to do before graduation

My project combines a countdown timer until graduation day and a checklist of things to do before graduation. The checklist is taken from NYU’s list of 101 things to do before you graduate.

I made this project because I was inspired to visualize the passage of time and the time remaining until graduation, in an effort to make the most of my time left at NYU. I decided to combine the countdown timer with the number of items remaining on the checklist to visualize the number of outstanding items, and how much time users have to complete those items. My hope for this project was for it to serve as a motivation for users to go out and make experiences in their time left at NYU. Personally, I received this checklist during my first semester, and I have made minimal progress in the past two years. By having a constant physical reminder of the elapsing time, I hoped my device would inspire me to spring into action.

My project consists of two parts. The first part is a checklist webpage that displays all 101 items and allows users to check off items they’ve completed. A counter at the top of the page displays the number of outstanding items, as well as the number of completed items.


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The second part of my project is an LCD display that shows the days, hours, minutes, and seconds remaining until 11:00 AM on May 17th, as well as the number of outstanding items from the checklist. The display assembly is accompanied by two LEDs. The red LED blinks every second and serves as an indicator of passing time, while the green LED lights up once the user has completed all items, or when the timer runs out.

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If the user checks off all items on the webpage before the timer runs out, the page displays, “Congratulations, you have done everything!”. If the user fails to check off every item on the webpage before the timer runs out, the page displays, “It’s OK, you don’t have to do everything”. The messaging of the program congratulates users for completing all items but also reaffirms users if they don’t complete every item. Either way, the program ends when the timer runs out, marking commencement as an achievement and end goal in itself.

Ultimately, I wanted to capture the importance of making experiences with one’s time remaining at NYU. Whether or not my project achieves that is up for debate. However, I think seeing the constant passage of time and things to do helps foster a sense of urgency in users.

See it in action | Try it yourself | Code on Github

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