Senior Photos

Today, a calendar notification went off on my phone, telling me that from 11 AM to 7 PM, I would be able to get my senior photos taken. That I could walk down to the bookstore in my cap and gown, smile in front of a white background, tilt my head just a bit, move my tassel to the graduated side, and commemorate what I have done in the last 4 years. That I would be able to do the tradition that every graduating senior has done before me and will do after me.

Except, with quarantine, I won’t be participating in the same way. Instead, I will have a roommate take my photo with an iPhone, in my apartment, in front of the least decorated wall we can find.

Exactly a month ago, before my university went online, I was walking out of class with friends. Our school offers two days to pick up our caps and gowns and take out yearbook photos: that day and a month after.

We spontaneously decided to go. I mean, there was nothing better to do and it felt like something we should participate in as seniors. I was pimply and not looking my best that day, so I joined for just the caps and gowns and left them when they got in line to take photos. I put a calendar notification in my phone for the following month, on April 28th, to remember to go and take my photos then.

But, in actuality, when the alarm when off today, I was in my online class, listening to my professor choppily talk about statistical analysis. I was quarantined, along with most of the world, in my home, unable to go outside.

A few times since this new lifestyle has come about, I have been hit by the harsh reality that my school education is over without even a firework: when I first got the email that graduation was postponed; when people started posting their senior photos on Facebook and I knew I wouldn’t be taking mine in the same way; when family and friends asked about post-graduation life; when I started packing up my apartment and saw my cap and gown sitting in it’s shrink wrapped bag under a pile of books.

So, the realization today was no different, but still an unwelcome awakening. This time however, it was mixed with regret that a month ago, when I chose to not get my photo taken because of how I looked that day, maybe I should have just sucked it up and done it just so I could experience being a senior one last time.

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Years ago, Camden Rose brought her typewriter across the country to Seattle after completing degrees in marketing and creative writing at Elon University. She fell in love with the city and hasn't left since. She can often be found at the ocean's edge taking notes on the local mermaid population. She loves exploring nature and seeking out the magic hidden beneath the everyday world. Currently, she is working on various short stories, novels, and a master’s in education. You can find her on Twitter @CamdensCorner.

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