A few days ago, someone posted an interesting link on Facebook: a photo shoot by Chad Batka for The New York Times, capturing twelve college students at the beginning of their freshman year and at the end. In addition to their age, hometown, and area of study, a brief caption from the student accompanies each set of photos.

Inspired by this photo shoot called “My First Year: Two Semesters in New York,” I decided to post a few pictures of my own, except my pictures cover two years (or four semesters) away at college.

August 23, 2012
Age 18
April 11, 2014
Age 20
August 29, 2012
Age 18
March 20, 2014
Age 20
Most of the captions from “My First Year” focus on changes in physical appearance. Some of mine include: wearing red lipstick on a day-to-day basis (instead of only on special occasions), retro eye makeup, sometimes wearing my hair up with braids, a little more creativity with outfits, and cutting my own hair. Oh, and I got my ears pierced. 🙂  
The idea of this creative photo shoot has made me ask the question: How does a person’s environment change them? Maybe physical appearances aren’t that big of a deal because the inside is what really counts. But when does the outside reflect the inside? For example, when an Asian woman cuts her hair, it can symbolize disconnecting from the past to enter a new phase of life. I’m not trying to say my changes or those of the New York students symbolize change caused by a worldly environment, but it is interesting to think about how our surroundings influence us. Maybe physical adjustments we make are just a natural part of growing up that should ultimately lead us to reflect on the changes happening in our hearts and minds. 
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Comments are always welcome.