Featured: Samantha Chinomona
“For almost a year now, I’ve had the same tab open on my phone. I’m not sure what led me to the article in the first place, but in it, there was a wonderful line about waiting being the ultimate trial that I didn’t want to forget. There’s something that rings true about that statement. We’re all waiting for something, aren’t we? We’re waiting for the pandemic to end, to feel better, to find love, or to land a new job. We’re waiting to travel again, to see friends we miss, or maybe just to go home, wherever that may be. I find myself waiting for a return to normalcy, for one normal year of the university experience before I graduate.” - Kailee Parsons
I haven’t come across a caption for a post that resonated with me as much as this one in a really long time. When I go to Instagram to create a mood board of inspiration for my next shoot it doesn’t usually end with introspection.
When I joined St Andrews’s Class of 2021 in September of 2017, bright-eyed, fresh-faced, and *way* too eager, I couldn’t have predicted, well, no one could have predicted that my time at university would end this way. I’m familiar with the feeling of senioritis, the colloquial term mainly used to describe lowered motivation displayed by students nearing the end of a chapter in their academic careers, but the senioritis I’m experiencing now is a particular brand of torture. I feel like I’m waiting, waiting for so many things, but waiting for nothing at all at the exact same time. I remember starting my last year of university hoping beyond hope that the graduation I pictured would actually happen. I pictured the ceremony with my friends and fellow classmates, my dad’s inevitably ridiculous cheering as I walked across the stage, my camera permanently fused to my hand for the week as I photographed everything and anything. I imagined my friends and I laughing at old jokes and embarrassing mistakes as we celebrated the last four years, buying overpriced drinks as we attempted to make the most out of our last nights together. But for now, the weather in St Andrews matches my mood. The wind rages, the rain pours, and I sit in silence.
The post’s caption goes on to say (using Waiting for Godot and the story of Sisyphus) that even though the future is uncertain and the waiting is torture, waiting is what gives meaning to existence, because there is always hope in the waiting, and that the glory of things hoped for outweighs the pain. I’m still waiting for that glory, but one thing I do know is that the feeling of peace and contentment that drew me to St Andrews in the first place never left. The pandemic may have taken away most of the second half of my university experience but it will never take away the memories I made (and photographed), the friends I gained, or the badass college experience I had all-in-all. Once all this is over, and the world is back to normal, I’ll be back out there making more memories and dancing like no one’s watching... even if everyone is.