Transferring to Temple, retold in Snapchats

A student reflects on how her friends and fears have changed in only a few years.


Over the past few years, I’ve used Snapchat to document everything. 

Whether it be a picture of my meal or panicking about a paper I left until the last minute, Snapchat provides a way for me to share my life with everyone who knows me.

A few years after I took some of these photos and videos, they’ve re-entered my life.

Walking out of the movies with my friends after just watching Jordan Peele’s “Us,”  I went to post a Snapchat letting everyone know I could now talk about the film. Before I could take the picture, I noticed a small red dot in the middle and decided to click on it.

It read “Flashback from March 26, 2017,” and it’s amazing how different my life was two years ago.

In the video, I was a freshman at Ithaca College in New York, making dinner with my roommate and three other friends, all of whom I no longer talk to. 

Now that I attend Temple University, I’m reminded that nothing is as permanent as it might seem, despite how excited I was about my future with those people.

Today, I use Snapchat as a way of remembering what I did a year or two ago — everything from a late-night, freezing cold trip to New York City to a self-care night that turned into my friends and I watching YouTube videos to the night we got drenched in rain before a concert.

And while I could look back on all my happy memories, I was also overloaded with pictures of me crying, overwhelmed by stress and overreacting to things that I now know weren’t that serious. 

Before transferring, I changed my major three times, switching between film, political science and communications. I felt the need to have my life figured out the first semester of my freshman year, which left me unhappy and unable to see a future for myself. 

Broadcasting my stress and frustration on Snapchat was a coping mechanism. I was reluctant to reach out to anyone, and all of this showed through my Snapchat stories. 

As the months passed, these memories faded away. Now, these Snapchat videos are a reminder to take care of myself.

The stories always seem to show up at the right time. Now that I’m approaching finals, I’m reminded of this same position I was in last year, and how relieved I felt when it was all over. It served as a reminder to calm down — everything works out in the end. 

I used to put my mind and body through stressful events that I wouldn’t remember today without these Snapchat stories.

Snapchat is my own little archive, preserving my memories with old and new friends. It’s still fascinating to be able to go back and see how my life has changed in such a short amount of time.

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