Attempting to Appear Wistful and Reflective – #photographicmemory

In #photographicmemory, Features, HOME, LIFE by Sam Prance

#photographicmemory is a feature in which someone sends in a nostalgic photo of themselves and writes about it. It was created because sometimes you can find out more about a person by asking them to describe a photo of themselves than by asking them a ton of questions. It was also created because it’s nice to look at pretty photos.

10525588_10154352894770183_1076107354053070390_nI know, I know. Another generic scenery shot with the back of some girls’ heads’ attempting to appear wistful and reflective…bear with me.

This picture is taken on Arthur’s Seat – the big mound/hill/mountain – it’s not really a mountain – in Edinburgh. Although this is a wonderful picture with some of my closest friends, I’m not sure that they’d be my most instinctive collection of people to take up Arthur’s Seat for a cringeworthy snap. And yet – there we were. It was taken in November of 2012, so two months after I’d started University in Edinburgh. And actually, slap bang in the middle of a rather odd time.

Three of us in the photo study up in Edinburgh, and the other three were visiting but we all went to school together in a tiny part of the world called Rutland. And in all honesty, when Anna – on the far left – was in touch to say that she’d booked her ticket and was coming to stay, I’d started to question why I’d invited her in the first place. At school I’d always considered myself quite together and in inviting Anna to stay – I set myself up for a public admission of how difficult I was finding university. I hadn’t instantly made friends for life and it wasn’t what I expected it to be.

The anticlimactic dust of freshers’ had long settled and I’d started to accept that my distinctly average friendships with my flatmates and those occasional faces I recognised in lectures were going to be the full extent of my hopes and dreams for a social life at university. I’ll pause here whilst you all get out your violins.

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Borderline clammy and very out of breath, we made it to the top, with time for a few quick Kodaks before the wind just about took us away with it.  I’m not sure we’d ever hung out as a six before, but we’d definitely not had any spectacularly corny photoshoots. Yet I loved it. And the hot chocolates and overpriced artisan cakes we indulged in afterwards were the icing on the cake – oh dear. It was a gentle reminder of those ridiculously great friendships that we’d made at school, that they hadn’t gone anywhere and that I’m still naïve enough to believe we’ll hold on to always. 

Kathleen Dolby

Kathleen Dolby is a second year Geography student at the University of Edinburgh who attempts to dabble in European languages. Ten years on and she’s still not fluent in anything other than food, Coldplay and Orange is the New Black.

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