Ahh Snapchat, the social media app of disappearing photos and videos, until recently. Sometime in the past couple of years, Snapchat has introduced their "memories" feature where they reveal to you the Snaps of the year prior. As a teenager, there wasn't much to the new feature- my friends and I would sit in class and look at a memory of...well, my friends and I sitting in class from the year before. It was uneventful, to say the least, and it certainly didn't hold any significant meaning. And I thought it still didn't until I stumbled upon the memory of the day I got accepted into San Diego State. I was a first-year student in college looking back on the day I was most proud of. It was then that I had a newfound appreciation for Snapchate memories.
I didn't value the small time capsules before because, well quite frankly, not much had changed. I was still living the same life, just looking back on an older version of it. But now, my life is drastically different and these memories remind me just how far I've come and how much change has occurred.
While in high school, I hated it. When I think back on it, the terrible taste it left in my mouth returns. It is kind of sad that the initial feelings I have towards that point in my life are so negative, but when I look at those times through the lens of Snapchat everything changes. My overall experience hasn't but these memories have found a way to remind me of the moments I felt were most worthy of capturing (like my acceptance). And now, I am no longer looking at a barely altered life of mine but an entirely different existence than the one I live now.
I look at the videos of every one of my brother's football games that I went to and I appreciate them since I no longer can go. I look at the pictures of homecoming and am reminded of the excitement that school dances brought particular excitement I won't experience again. I look at the memories of every late night bonfire I had surrounded by my friends and I miss them.
And when I look up from my phone, I realize: I get to brag to everyone I know about what an incredible athlete my baby brother is. I get to experience the excitement of long weekends after a week of midterms. And even when I miss my New Jersey friends, I look up and realize I'm surrounded by new ones.
So even when the Snap memories make you sad or seem ridiculous, keep in mind that one day your life will be worlds apart from the one documented on your screen and that is when you'll truly appreciate it. It is when you have seemingly moved so far beyond that life that you'll come to realize some of those moments are cherishable. Next year, I hope to look back on moments like these while both embracing and appreciating the change.
Snapchat, you remind me of how far I can go and inspire me to create memories that I'll enjoy when I reminisce about how far I've come.