In the US, going away to college is a defining moment in a young person's life. It often means packing up one's belongings and traveling hundreds, even thousands, of miles to begin a new life away from the familiar sphere of family and childhood friends. This new independence gives young adults a freedom to create for themselves a unique identity.
At the University of Texas at Austin, home to 50,000 students, a student can get involved in over 900 student organizations. Some are political, some professional, while others are religious, cultural, recreational, or charity-oriented. By joining these groups students gain a sense of community and self.
In Associations, I investigate the tendency for people to construct their identity by labeling themselves as members of particular groups—a sort of self-categorization in search of a sense of belonging. I photograph individuals who are members of different student organizations on the university campus. The idea of this project is to emphasize the universal desire to define one's own identity through social interactions and group memberships.