I was digging through my photo archives in an old hard drive the other day and found a folder called board games. I was very confused. Why would I have a folder called board games in a photo folder? So I did the usual thing and threw the folder into Photo Mechanic. The folder was full of images of final board setups from games like “Carcasone,” “Settlers of Catan” and “Ticket to Ride.”
Then it all came rushing back to me. I was chilling out in Buckley and Connecticut Commons my freshman and sophomore year, respectively. Every Friday or Saturday, I would get together with the same group of friends and play board games from like nine in the evening to one or two in the morning.
The idea of taking those photos came from my board game nights. They wanted a way to remember the crazy nights without actually documenting the night. So like all weird college students, we came up with an abstract way to show off the night. We (meaning I) would photograph the final board state at the end of a game. We had all gotten pretty good at the game by that point, so by looking at the photos later, we could reminisce about who had the most ridiculous win strategy.
Now almost two years since the last time we really did that, I can’t tell you exactly what we did on any of the nights in question. I can barely understand what’s actually happening in those photos. What I do remember, however, is how the nights and being with the friends made me feel (it is happy AF for those wondering).
You’re going to do a lot of different things in college. Every day is chock-full of new things to experience and all of that will make you the person that you are today. But in 20 years, you aren’t going to remember any of those things. It’s really sad to say but it’s true. What will stick with you is the people you meet. See, the thing that truly defines experiences is the people that experience them with you. You can experience a lot of things but those experiences won’t mean jack if you don’t have someone to share them with at the end of the day.
There’s no real advice on how to build the best friend group. Everyone looks for something different in their friends. The best advice is try to find people who understand you. And more importantly, you shouldn’t have to try super hard to be friends with them. If you are, then it really isn’t going to work out.
Friendships are one of those things that can last a lifetime. They can help you create the best experiences possible and help you maximize college to the fullest.
Now back to the album. I ended up erasing it. It was kind of sad that two years of chronicling could be destroyed in under 30 seconds but if I’m being honest, it wasn’t the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. The folder was only a brief reminder of all the cool experiences that I had with that group of friends. I already know those friends are going to be around for a long time. The folder just had the supporting evidence. Besides, the future will hold a lot more opportunities for slightly better photos of more abstract boards.
Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and weekly columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets at @amar_batra19.