Savoring the Moment Through Selfies

March 29, 2022

Some of my friends tell me I have a great eye for aesthetics – a compliment I take with honor. Since I was a little kid, I’ve loved taking amateur photos, whether with a point-and-shoot, my iPod touch, or my phone, and making seemingly mundane things more exciting. I feel as though photos can make pretty things uglier and ugly things prettier. This may seem like a hot take, but hear me out. When you take a picture of the sky, specifically the moon and stars, it never comes out as beautiful as your eyes behold it in real life. Conversely, you can take a picture of something like trash on the side of the street in New York – yes, something as simple and brash as trash – and romanticize it. There is beauty in everything!

It is difficult to capture the true essence of something, at least for me, but photography is all about how you frame it. You can trust me on that one; I took a photography class in high school. True professionals with fancy equipment and top-tier editing skills have always impressed me, but I will leave the actual skill to them. For now, I will continue to trick people into seeing the beauty I find in everyday things, including what I’m doing everyday. 

I used to pride myself in having never really posted a selfie on social media. What I used to see as something for “cool kids,” I’ve come to appreciate almost as an artform. Looking through my camera roll now, about 20% of it is selfies. Last summer I found that when I’m having the most fun, I want to capture the moment… and selfies are the perfect way to do that! In every situation I’m in I can take a selfie and capture what I am doing, how I am feeling, and who I am with. I started an instagram account just to post my series of selfies every few days. It’s like if I had a photo album full of selfies! Except, instead of turning the page you swipe from side to side, and instead of taking the picture out to see who’s in it you just click to see who’s tagged. For the past year, this has been a fun way for me to express myself and share what I’ve been up to with my closest friends. Unlike the modern perception of social media “etiquette,” there is no obligation for anyone to follow it and no pressure to have a certain amount of likes or comments. It is just a casual way for my friends to see what’s really going on in my life. Happy, sad, excited, confused, or any other feeling, I’m not afraid to express it in my “selfie dumps” because I know that the people I’m sharing it with are the people who I love, trust, and appreciate the most – and who feel the same way about me. 

I share my most dramatic crying breakdowns, my delirious late night study sessions, and the happiest, silliest moments of my life. Yes, I’m sharing for the world to see, but only if they want to. Above all, I do it for myself. So I can look back on my college career and remember all of the exciting things I did and who made those moments so special. It is a tribute to the opportunities I have been given and the people who have given them to me.

group of seven students standing together and smiling

Here’s one of my favorite selfies I’ve taken recently. You can truly see on our faces how much fun my friends and I were having at this formal dinner for one of our clubs!

Author: Alyssa Hurtado

I am a second year student studying Environmental Economics and Policy and Urban Studies! I am very involved in the UC Rally Committee, our main spirit group on campus, and love to rep Cal whenever I can! I'm also involved in Greek Life, Residential Life, and a Pre-Law fraternity here on campus. I love combining my interests and passions and seeing where they can take me!