Daisy Amador at 22 (far left).

May 19, 2024

AMADOR | From Backpacks to Briefcases

Print More

A few weeks ago, my mother sent me an image of herself from 2001. She was 22. Young and moody. She argued the last two decades have aged her unforgivingly, in body and in spirit — and have done so in the blink of an eye. 

I spent a considerable amount of time staring at this picture: both in awe of the resemblance in our youth, but also in doubt that much has changed since that image was captured. She looks the same; perhaps not as much a victim to an aged face than to the accouterments of adulthood. 

In a week I’ll be graduating. I’ll be 22, too — young and moody. Yet I’ve dreaded the idea of being photographed. Every smile caught on film failing to capture the indescribable but banal fear that comes with adulthood. Or rather a fear that I’ll look back to those moments in painful reminiscence. 

A while ago I set out on an adventure to capture portraits of my classmates before we all depart. I gave them no instruction: Pose and do as you please. They all smiled. “Fear isn’t the right word to describe it,” my mother said over the phone. At 22 it’s an energy, a dream, however uncertain, of a life ahead. And it’s exciting. 

It may be that in 20 years my classmates look upon these and — for a brief moment — reminisce on their youth; on their backpacks turned briefcases turned baby carriers; on how much they changed, and how much they didn’t. 

But the hope, truly, is that for the rest of that moment we’ll find relief. That we’ll look back and realize a life once dreamed of turned out to be a life well lived. 

Andrew Wallace

Garrett Perezchica

Andy Wu

Hannah Drexler

Gabriel Levin

Hanako Yamasaki

Mingdao Gavaldà

Meher Bhatia/Salma Hazimeh

Samuel Straus

Ishan Ethridge

Isabelle Pappas/Rebecca Sparacio/Hugo Amador

Thanks for the memories.

Hugo Amador is a senior editor and staff writer. He can be reached at [email protected].

The Cornell Daily Sun is interested in publishing a broad and diverse set of content from the Cornell and greater Ithaca community. We want to hear what you have to say about this topic or any of our pieces. Here are some guidelines on how to submit. And here’s our email: [email protected].