Gone, but Not Quite Forgotten

by The Cowl Editor on December 9, 2021

Editor's Column

Gone, but Not Quite Forgotten

Reflecting on a Year Through Photography 

by Nicole Patano ’22, Editor-in-Chief

December is finally here, which means that 2021 is coming to a close. Whether you read that sentence with relief or grief, it’s important to reflect on what has occurred during the past year. 

It’s times like these that I regret not keeping a daily journal to remember all of the “small” moments in my life. At the start of the semester, my roommates downloaded the One Second Everyday app and have since been capturing all of the mundane and meaningful moments they experience on a daily basis. Unfortunately, with my temperamental, seven-year-old cellphone, I was unable to partake. When you only have so much storage to work with, you learn to be selective about the pictures you are taking and saving. 

Thus, I would say the pictures I have taken over the course of the year represent some of the most important and special moments to me (with the occasional meme thrown in). Over Thanksgiving break, I created a “Year in Photos” to reminisce on all of the moments from 2021 that I considered important enough to take up my phone’s storage. 

Going through this process, I realized that despite (and in spite of) the COVID-19 pandemic, work, and school, I was fortunate enough to go on a number of adventures this year. I walked to the Statue of Liberty, sat on a throne of ice, hiked through the clouds, snuck into Yale’s library, frolicked through a field of sunflowers, and flew across the country and back in less than 48 hours.  

Beyond this, I realized that I was fortunate enough to spend the year with the people I love most: my parents and grandma, my best friends, and, if we’re measuring the level of love by number of photos, my cat above all others. After spending most of 2020 at home and on our own, we have to take advantage of the opportunities to go out, see others, and make the most of our lives. 

As you reflect on this past year, think about how you want it to inform the choices you make in 2022. What was lacking in your life this past year: adventure, human connection, iPhone storage? Enter the new year prepared to fill these gaps. If you make New Year’s resolutions, consider one which directly relates to the events of 2021. If you find it as difficult to even remember what happened this year as I did, consider making daily journaling one of your resolutions. You’ll thank yourself when 2023 comes around and you begin the process all over again.