23-year-old takes Instagram to a whole new level
Every day, twenty-somethings around the world try their best to get creative with their Instagram accounts, but 23-year-old Caroline Calloway took her Instagram creativity to a whole new level. The self-proclaimed "Instagram blogger" and Cambridge University student is using her account to create an entirely Instagram-based memoir which will be turned into a book and published in January 2016.
The first night Oscar and I slept together he didn't kiss me. I had made it aggressively clear that kissing wouldn't be allowed. However unlike the plot of Pretty Woman, I didn't let Oscar touch me at all. Also I didn't get paid. "I need you to stay with me tonight until I fall asleep," I said abruptly. Oscar, who had been whistling as we navigated the maze of castles back to our dorm, went quiet. "But like seriously," I said. "I'm going to need you to lie in my bed and maybe pat my hair, but only because I have anxiety problems." I looked at him with an expression between 'hopeful' and 'crazy eyes.' "REAL ANXIETY PROBLEMS. If you try to make a move I will burst into tears and it will be super fucking unsexy." I paused for breath. Oscar let out a strained sort of laugh. "Is this a question, Miss Calloway, or—" "Please." I said more urgently, shutting my eyes. "Please." I had felt fine until the sun went down. It's always been like this for me. Not every day, or even every week, but once in a while I sink into a certain part of myself and get overwhelmed by loneliness. Fun fact! When I was little my father begged my mom to send me to therapy because I couldn't fall asleep without audiobooks. I needed the stories, but also the illusion of human company. Nowadays someone will occasionally ask, "Isn't it weird for you to have so many people following your life?" Obviously not! I'd feel even lonelier without them. As we sat on the banks of the River Cam, Oscar had watched the sun set while I watched groups of friends coming and going over the old stone bridges. Passing through the courtyard in this picture, I studied the red ivy on the roof—the same ivy that would be gone when we climbed up there in the spring. I wished that my own college wasn't ugly and space-age. I wished that I lived in a castle with red ivy. I wished, for a moment, that I had never left New York. When Oscar climbed into my bed that night I said sternly, "If you try to pull what you pulled in the elevator tonight I will literally kill you." But secretly I was glad to have him there. To Be Continued... #adventuregrams PS – Want even more adventures? Follow me on Facebook, friends!
Along the way, Calloway has gained quite the following, with more than 339,000 followers on Instagram and more than 11,300 followers on Twitter.
I love magic. First kisses, Patronus charms, the way Google finishes your sentences. But the fact that I love magic is not a secret. Not to you and definitely not to Stephanie, the small child I once THREW TO THE GROUND at a birthday party in order to narrow the magician's choices for audience volunteers. What is a secret, though, is that my acceptance letter from Cambridge was such a miracle it borders on magical. Also, that thing with Stephanie happened at a birthday party where I wasn't 6; I was baby-sitting. As in literally sitting on babies to silence them. Or as I explained to Stephanie's Mom: Wimbledon champ Novak Djokovic once said, "It's just a question of who believes, and who wants it more." This statement implies that enough belief will crystalize into action—and sometimes it does, like at the birthday party. But sometimes, for weird reasons you can't or don't want to explain, it doesn't. While never letting go of that belief, you work on other goals that either make it possible for you to come back to that wish some day or they de-rail you altogether. It is already too late for me to be a prima ballerina, have a natural British accent, or win an Olympic gold medal in anything besides curling. I have a lot of hopes about curling. People ask me all the time how to get into Cambridge. I still don't have an answer. I applied to the worst college, St Edmund's, and it really is the worst—objectively. Every year something called the Thompkins Table ranks the 29 undergraduate colleges and matters extremely much to everyone in a college that does well. In 2014 St Edmund's came in last. And yet I don't doubt for a second that I got in because of magic. Sure, I had some CV talking-points, but so did everyone else who had the courage to apply to Cambridge and got rejected. I know, because every year since I turned 18 I've applied to Harvard, Yale and Oxbridge and been turned down. I'm 22 now. This picture is one I took myself at Cambridge, at a ball, at midnight, Oscar's arm around my waist. But like getting in, it would be a very long time before Cambridge became the magical placed I wanted it to be. I love magic, but it's funny that way. To Be Continued
Calloway takes her Instagram followers on her personal journey as she falls in love, experiences life, and experiences heartbreak, with two or three paragraphs accompanying each photo. The art history student beautifully composes each photograph on her feed with her own style and taste in mind, taking her followers by hand as she guides them through her fairy tale life. Calloway told Mic.com, "I try to mimic my favorite writers, and I know what appeals to me above all else is honesty."
Just as I was about to hang up, Oscar answered. "Miss Calloway." He said coolly. "You rang?" "Yes," I whispered, weaving through bookshelves towards the door. "Are you free? Like right now? I have an idea." "Why are you whispering?" Near the circulation desk, a moon-faced librarian had stopped watering the potted ferns to frown in my direction. "I'm in the library," I whispered. "Leaving now." "Rather naughty of you to be placing calls from the library," he remarked cheerfully. "Yes... Well..." I mumbled struggling with the brass doorknob and a clever retort. "Always try everything once, Oscar. That's what I say. Except heroin. Because dirty needles give you AIDS. " Behind me I heard the moon-faced librarian make a noise like a startled hiccup. Oscar was silent. "Never mind," I said, rattling the doorknob and I stumbled into the hallway. The department of History of Art and Architecture is a row of internally connected townhouses. The layout is narrow and labyrinthine in a way that buildings designed with fire-safety codes are not. From the way it creaks, I suspect it's made entirely of wood and haunted-house sound effects. As I shuffled down the cramped hallway past bulletin boards and office doors and a statistically insane concentration of the world's hottest hipsters I tried to focus on what Oscar was saying. "Caroline? I asked you what your idea is." "Right," I said squeezing past a boy in Birkenstocks speaking French with girls wearing tropically bright lipstick and mostly black, like hip witches. "Right. My idea. Where are you?" A pretty girl with platinum blonde hair and a Hawaiian shirt held the front door for me. I squinted against the afternoon sun. "I'm at the Politics Library." He paused. "But I can meet you outside of Catz in ten if you wish." "Cats?" "St Catherine's College. Catz. It's on the way back to St Edmund's." "Awesome!" I squealed. "I'll see you in ten! And I can tell you about my idea in person!" When I saw Oscar standing in front of Catz precisely nine minutes later, head titled back in the sunshine, hands in his pockets, grinning, all he said was "Well, Miss Calloway. This better be good." To Be Continued #adventuregrams
Although her posts are aesthetically beautiful, the true art behind her account lies in her strategy and approach. Unlike other Instagram users, Calloway's photos are not posted in real time. Her posts are about a year behind the actual happenings in her life. This is an intentional decision that was made by Calloway in an effort to truly make her account feel like a memoir, with each post reading as if it is a chapter of her life, or rather, a chapter of her memoir.
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