Lazy Boy on Campus: College memories

"Lazy Boy On Campus" is a weekly column on how to embrace laziness while maintaining a jam packed schedule. Easy, right?

Nostalgia found while cleaning author's room. All of the items represent fond memories from college. Press passes: memories of covering events for the paper; tie: memories from freshman year; hat: memories of all the band shows I've attended; cell phone case: memories of tanzania; calculator: memories have passing actuary exams. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

This past weekend, I undertook something that I had been putting off for weeks: cleaning my room. The only reason it takes me so long to clean is because I have no real motivation to actually do the cleaning. I know that two days after I clean I will more than likely already have started to make a mess again. This time around, however, I had some good motivation. My roommate’s parents were coming up and he had already cleaned his half of the room. I couldn’t appear to be the messy one, so I got to cleaning. Like every time I clean I found things that I had forgotten I had. I didn’t expect to get an odd rush of nostalgia as I uncovered some of these objects.

The first thing I came across was my old phone case. It’s a simple, black Incipio shell case. Nothing super special about it. The Moto X that it used to house was replaced back in October when it stopped working. I was ready to throw it away until I remembered everything that this case had been through. That case had been with me on the most exciting adventure of my life: my summer trip to Tanzania. That case was in my pocket for every mountain, dusty road and beach that I experienced over the summer. It contained all the memories from that trip.

More things appeared after that. There was the calculator that I used to pass my first actuarial exam. Passing that exam proved to me that I might be able to actually make a career out of math. A tie from my only college girlfriend reminded me of all the great memories I had with a certain group of friends my freshman year. A snapback that I wear everyday reminded me of all the times that I had spent going to concerts and just relaxing with friends. I also found many scattered press passes, all representative of the awesome experiences I have been able to observe from behind my camera lens.

There is going to come a point in time when all of us leave UConn. For some of us it’s in a few months, while for others it might be in a few years but we all have to leave eventually. And when we leave, we are going to take with us a ton of memories. Memories of sports games, late nights with friends, passing tests, failing tests, victory and heartbreak. Right now all of those memories are fresh in our minds, however that won’t always be the case. One day those memories will start to fade away and we will only be left with vague details about some of the greatest days of our lives.

So what does all this talk of memories and the future and sparked by those items have to do with being lazy? Earlier, I mentioned that it takes me a while to get around to cleaning. A lot of that is because I’m lazy and I know my room will end up a mess again, but there is another reason: I know that when I start cleaning I’ll be confronted by those memories and know that at some point I will start to forget what they mean. Sure I have photos of those events—I’m a photographer, I have more photos than I know what to do with—but photos are only a shell of the original memories. They are an afterthought to everything that happened.

What really carries the memories of what you experienced are the objects that experienced everything with you. The press passes from covering events, or the free t-shirts thrown out at basketball games; all of those things are more important than any photograph.

Some people might call you lazy for deciding not throw out some of those things, and if they do just embrace it. It might be lazy but you’re going to get to keep some of the best memories in the world. They say that college is the best time of your life. If that’s the case then we shouldn’t be so quick to get rid of the things which represent that time.


Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and opinion’s staff columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email amar.batra@uconn.edu. He tweets at @amar_batra19.