In today’s technologically advanced society, most aspects of our lives are captured on camera. From the food we’re eating, to the clothes we’re buying, to the places we go – it’s all documented and posted for the world (or at least our followers) to see. It has become so normal that we don’t even think about it; so when it came time for me to choose which pictures I would be printing to take with me to Italy, I didn’t realize just how hard the task would be.
With one hand holding a cup of coffee and the other on my laptop, I began scrolling through the hundreds of pictures I had taken over the years, trying to narrow it down to the 25 I was allowed to use on the website Parabo.Press (which, by the way, is a wonderful website for students who want to personalize and decorate their dorms!). I didn’t expect the search process to be a long one. How hard could it be to find 25 pictures?
Two hours and some tears later, I realized just how wrong I was. As I scrolled through the collection of pictures I had taken over the years, it seemed as if 25 were not nearly enough! The thing about pictures is that they are more than just the amount of likes they receive on Instagram or views they get on Snapchat; they are a screenshot of time we will never get back. As we get older and certain details of our life fade, we will always have pictures to shine with vivid clarity and hold the memories we never want to forget. How could I bring only 25 to encapsulate my life over the past 20 years? Staring back at me from my computer screen was every bad haircut, every vacation, every friend, every heartbreak… everything that had ever made me laugh, love, or cry.
Two more hours later – with plenty more laughter and tears – I finally found the perfect memories to take with me to Rome. A candid of myself taken on the Great Wall of China; a goofy picture my best friend was probably hoping to forget; pictures with my family, friends, and of course my beloved dog! A smile can be found in every single picture, which means I will always have a reason to smile when looking at them.
Twenty-five or even 250 pictures would never be enough to bring along with me to Rome, because not everything can be captured on camera. The pictures I have chosen were reminders of some of my favorite times with my favorite people, but the love that had bloomed from making those memories was something that existed within me and could not be hung up as decoration.
I know now that part of my initial frustration in finding the perfect pictures was the underlying fear and sadness I had from leaving all those memories and the people I had made them with behind, because for the first time in my life I will truly be leaving home and everything that home entails. It’s a daunting reality for prospective students who, like me, will be leaving home for the first time to study in a different country. However scary the prospect of moving and studying in Rome is, it is equally exciting. I am confident that during my time as a student at John Cabot, I will continue to make memories that can be captured both on camera and in my heart; the only real problem will be running out of wall space.
Class of 2018