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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CUA chapter.

Each time I open up the Snapchat app I am bombarded with “one year ago today” memories. The pictures and videos I captured from last year force me to look at them every day, making me long for last year, and the year after that, and the year after that. 

Snapchat’s “memories” feature allows the user to save photos to a Snapchat specific camera roll, and Snapchat curates a private slideshow of “one year ago today” that shows the photos and videos taken on that day years before. I’m writing this on September 22nd of 2023, so the memories I’m seeing are from September 22nd of 2022, 2021, 2020, and so on. Let me be honest here – September of 2022 was an absolute highlight in my life, and September of this year is, well, not so much. 

This time last year I was happily studying abroad for the fall semester in London. The memories and friendships that I made there are some of the most wonderful and life changing experiences I could have asked for. I was experiencing a new country and a new culture while having daily excursions into a new city, exploring and taking new opportunities on a daily basis. I stayed in London (and in a few surrounding countries to visit) until December when the term was over and I flew back home to the United States. 

When I open Snapchat, all I see are memories of my time abroad. While I am grateful to have had this experience, and I’m happy I have lots of photo evidence, seeing how much fun I had last year is currently harder than I had expected. I am no longer having brand new experiences and travel to a new country every weekend. I am no longer meeting brand new, inspiring, and well-traveled people on a daily basis. I am at home, and I feel like I have never moved more slowly in my life.  

My senior year has not started off the best. Due to the stress of school, the organizations I am a part of on campus, and my personal life, I have felt very overwhelmed. Reminiscing on the incredible (and leisurely) time I had last year in London is constantly hurting my feelings. I feel myself longing for the adventure I had last year and even more than that, longing for who I was when I was in London. Seeing myself so genuinely happy when I’m currently not feeling that way definitely takes its toll.

The feeling of nostalgia for a time I won’t experience again is what continually pulls me back to look at these Snapchat memories. I hate that I’m not in London, but I love that I was in London. I do, however, know that my time for traveling is not over. In fact, it has hardly begun. While I may be longing for that rush of the UK now, I will be there again soon. I am applying to graduate school solely in Europe, so given I receive an acceptance, my next adventure will take place in September of 2024. 

Until the time comes for me to step foot back into London, I am trying my best to be more present in where I am. I will only be a senior in college once, and although this past month has been difficult on me, I have to enjoy the craziness of this semester as much as I can. While it stings a bit to see where I was last year at this time, I am so thankful I took the photos and videos that I did. Hopefully this time next year, when I look at my memories from 2023, I will smile at how much I once again accomplished in a year. Until then, I’ll look back on last year’s memories with kinder eyes, grateful I have a time in my life worth missing this much.

Ryn is a sophomore English and Media and Communication Studies double major at The Catholic University of America.