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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

I consider myself to be a very nostalgic person. I’d say I have a pretty good memory so, naturally, I constantly find myself reminiscing on moments from the recent and distant past. With photo, video, and written documentation of my life’s moments, it’s hard to navigate the battle against nostalgia: how much of this feeling should I let into my life?

It doesn’t help that everywhere I went when I was younger, I would turn my head to see my dad with his face behind the camera. He was the unofficial photographer for my swim team, and the files on his computer are filled with photos of me and my sister. I have every single picture and video taken of me from my dad’s digital and video camera easily accessible on my laptop with the click of a button. From time to time when in search of a particular photo or video, I undoubtedly end up on a childhood media deep-dive, enthralled in the ebb and flow of nostalgia. 

I, too, love to document everything. I take pictures of anything and everything I find remotely aesthetic. I make video vlogs of every vacation or trip I go on. I take pictures and videos of everything that happens on nights out with my friends. I love to journal about my day’s happenings and reflect on past ones. I’m constantly trying to formulate my own perception of my life through these documented memories. But, like those home videos, I often find my finger glued to the screen of my phone or the pages of my journal, scrolling and flipping through memories. 

The bitterness that comes with the bittersweet nature of nostalgia is what makes the feeling an enemy of mine. But, as a sentimental girl, I’d argue it’s better to overindulge than underindulge in nostalgia. The privilege of having videos from my childhood is one of the single things I’m most grateful for, because I’m gifted a window into my youth. Yet, with this comes a yearning for what once was. It’s the same with my current pictures and videos. I sometimes find myself feeling that same yearning for even the most difficult times of my life. Nostalgia is comforting like that. With my modern-day documentation, there is also the setback of my preoccupation in the past. I can’t live in the moment enough with a phone or camera in hand. But, in my opinion, capturing a moment allows me to bask in its pleasure long after it’s ended; I can almost relive it. My pleasurable affection for the past brings me joy in knowing I experienced them. So, in this love-hate relationship, I continue to give in to my enemy for the sweetness it brings with it.

Kate Corlew

UC Berkeley '26

Kate is a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley majoring in English. She enjoys writing articles related to her personal experiences. When she isn't writing, you can find her watching a sunset with friends, listening to Taylor Swift, or cheering on the field as a member of Cal Cheerleading.