Three Years of Photo Booths

May 17th 2013

I was at midnight breakfast on Monday night when I realized that a special chapter of my life was ending.

My college experience has been an interesting one. As an RA and a photographer I have conflicting lives where my one job is to tell students to not drink and then my other job is to take pictures of them being drunk.

I do not condone underage drinking, or actually drinking at all. I like to think that my presence at many of these college events is an extension of my RA presence in the lives of students I care about. At the end of the day what matters is student safety and success.

Part of that success in my mind is achieved through having a good time and enjoying your college experience. I feel really blessed to have been able to be at so many events where people were having so much fun. I've gotten to see some really special times in people's lives through doing photo booths at college events.

Monday, I realized, was my final photo booth.

So what does this all amount to? What does it all mean? I've got all these fun times stored on my computer and all these memories that make me smile, but for some reason facing the end still puts an insurmountable weight on my heart.

Leaving college behind is bittersweet. You've achieved what you came to do. But saying goodbye to your closest friends, some of them perhaps forever, was never something academic counseling said you'd have to do.

So to alleviate the pain, I want to share.

I want to share memories from the last three years. (I didn't do photo booths my freshman year.) I want to put up photos that you forgot existed from years ago.

Why is this important? Why do I bother posting photos that were taken anything more than a week ago? Because my job is to remind you why you came to college in the first place.

Sure, you came to learn and get an education, but what good is learning if it doesn't improve your quality of life? I think you came to college to truly live life, to learn who you are, to meet amazing people, to have fun, to feel like you've done something with your life.

Not all of that is physically happening in the photos below, but sometimes it is, and I believe that they're the best symbol there is of you getting the most out of your college experience.

These photos show people having fun, being creative, and spending time with people they care about.

That is what college is to me, and although college is over, I don't think spending time with people you care about has to end.

There's a ton of photos here, like over 400. There are some really fun patterns here and some crazy stuff going on. There are couples that went to every event with just each other for three years. Batman, Darth Vader, and our Dean of Students Jerry Price all made appearances. There was a snake, a contortionist, and inflatable aliens. I purposely waited until finals were done to post these, just in case I gave someone an extra reason to procrastinate.

Happy scrolling!