Senior Column — Kate De Prima ’22


Kate De Prima, Staff Writer

I’ve never been good at documenting things about myself. Unfortunately, this means, due to my terrible memory and perhaps an unconscious effort to repress some more embarrassing memories, my time at AHS has formed into a shapeless and shifting cloud of recollections. Recording memories through pictures or notes helps—but I even forget to do that most times. 

I’ve never agreed with the sentiment that high school is supposed to be “the best time of your life”. (If you label something with a superlative as positive as that, you are creating an immense amount of pressure to live up to it, preventing yourself from actually being in the moment.) But it’s undeniable that these four years of your life are meaningful and worthy of documentation. My only significant regret about my time in high school is that I wish I had more courage. Not only to avoid being “a doormat” (my mom’s candid words after one too many bad group projects) but to photograph more, to write more, to record an account of a time that is invaluable.

My photos only take up 25.42 gigabytes on my phone—only 40% of my total storage. While I regret that my phone storage isn’t filled up with photos (I wish I had enough to rival the photo album of a middle-aged tourist after a trip overseas)—I cherish the photos I do have. The pictures remind me of the moments where the only thing hurting was my ribs after laughing so hard. Dancing to bad music in the kitchen and bawling to movies late at night. Moments of love with people I might never talk to again, and moments of love with people I never want to stop talking to. Art projects I’m only semi-proud of because I could never let myself be fully proud–that would be so obnoxious. Recently deleted group selfies trying on the shiny self-confidence that everyone on Instagram seems to wear. Countless photos of shenanigans at lunch and so, so, so many screenshots of Zoom chats, math homework, and Google Classroom updates.

To add on to those cherished memories (and in an attempt to remedy my one regret) I’m trying to record the last few weeks as much as possible. I’ve written down and planned so many reminders to bring along my film camera whenever I go out. Yes, I’m going “back to film” as so many people who want to romanticize their life do. I’m more sentimental about ending high school than I ever thought I’d be (I’m talking crying-to-vague-songs-in-the-car sentimental) and I truly think film manages to bring out sentimentality more than any art medium. There’s a weight to losing about $0.85 with each picture you take that matches the emotional weight of capturing something you’ll likely never experience (in the same way) again. Each exposure I take up on my roll of film, each photo I take, is a testament to how much I loved that moment. 

I’m already feeling something akin to homesickness about leaving the bubble of AHS, but it’s reassuring to know that I have some sort of record, even if it is small. I’ll be heavy-handed with my message just this once (against every one of my past English teachers’ cries): please feel your experiences are worthy of documentation, whether it be through photography, art, or writing–keep a record of it all. I’m excited to keep adding to mine for the next few weeks… well days at this point. Farewell!