Perspective: First Day photos
The past few days have been a blur of “first day photos” on social media sites I frequent. From the “first day of kindergarten” to the “first day of high school” to the “first day of the last year in pre-school,” proud parents are making the most of first day posts. My personal favorite first day photo was taken by my son’s law school roommate that captured my son’s frantic expression as he was rushing to make it to his first day of class on time. The tongue-in-cheek caption -- “First Day of Law School. They grow up so fast!”
First-day photos capture milestones and are currency of a sort. Giving a nod to achievements of prior years, they’re tokens of entry into a new developmental stage. There’s a bittersweetness, too, as we mark the inevitable “growing away” of our children.
Taking too many photos can spoil memories of significant events and the more we’re exposed to an image, the less attention we give it.
Don’t waste too much time trying for that perfect photo – or you’ll miss the magic of capturing the unscripted emotions of the moment – the first grader’s shy smile, the teen-ager’s grimace of impatience, or the sheer joy of the child who’s been waiting to follow their siblings out-the-door onto the school bus.
Last year, we even took a photo of our department’s office manager as he headed off to his own “first day of classes at NIU.” Huskie Pride is strong here in my department. And as thousands of new and returning students prepare for their first day of classes next week, I like to imagine the stacks of “First Day” photos that led each of them to our campus which will lead them to even more “first day” moments throughout their careers.
I’m Suzanne Degges-White and that’s my Perspective.