Outgrowing IDs: Freshman memories aren’t always picture perfect

Olivia Higgins | Staff Photographer
Olivia Higgins | Staff Photographer
Olivia Higgins | Staff Photographer

By Nina Saluga | Staff Writer

Take a good hard look at your Duquesne ID, the magic little ticket that grants you access to food, resources and housing all across campus. The library, residence halls, recreational facilities, computer labs, the dining hall — your Duquesne ID does it all.

Now take a step back and gander at yourself in the mirror.

Notice anything different?

Probably, and that’s because here at Duquesne students are provided a student ID their freshman year. That ID then follows — or haunts, depending on the picture — them to senior year and sometimes beyond.

My ID takes me back to a time when my skin was orange and I wouldn’t have been surprised to find myself uttering “Oompa Loompa doompety doo” all across campus. The lighting in the photo ID center is unforgiving at best. My freshman year self rocked a much less even complexion and much darker, frizzier hair. The picture on my ID is of a petrified freshman version of my current self.

I would like to think if I retook my ID photo this year as a third year student I would look much less terrified and much more put together. College ages — I mean, matures — you, after all. But unless the lighting at the ID center has changed in the past three years, I would imagine I would just end up looking like a business casual Oompa Loompa instead of spring break 2014 Oompa Loompa.

When other students across campus looked back on their student IDs from freshman year, they felt similarly about their IDs: a hybrid of nostalgia and chagrin.

“I would say that I don’t like my picture but I’m not embarrassed about it. I think it’s cool to look at it and see how much I’ve changed in the past four years,” said Tori Mettin, a senior nursing student. “I think I will keep my ID after graduation. It would be fun to find it one day a couple years from now and see how things have changed even more.”

Like Mettin, senior occupational therapy student Katie Westley also saw her ID as a milemarker of the changes in her personal appearance over her academic career.

“I don’t mind my freshman year picture, it’s not the worst ID picture I’ve taken,” Westley said. “It definitely would have been cool to get a new picture every year so you can see how much you’ve changed during your time at Duquesne. I plan to keep my ID after I graduate. I actually still have all my high school IDs and it’s funny to see how different I look now compared to back then.”

According to the Duquesne ID card policy, replacement of ID cards costs a $25 fee and is nonrefundable if your lost card is found. If there is the chance that your card might be found, DU Card Services (yes, there is such thing) offers a temporary replacement card that remains valid for three days. Students only have this opportunity available to them once per month, however.

Not everyone is as optimistic about the fate of their current ID, however. Some students might even hope for it to mysteriously disappear after graduation. That way, that little square of their freshman self would never have to see the light of day again.

“I hate my picture, it is the worst ID picture I’ve ever taken but I probably will keep it,” said senior forensics major Amber Shields.

Her reasoning for not pitching the card after graduation caps have long been tossed?

Sometimes the reminder of years past make even the most unflattering picture worth it.

Thanks for the memories, DU Card Center.