1. It's expensive.
I now understand that hipster phrase "starving artist." Instead of buying groceries, I bought frames — many matted, overpriced frames. Instead of ordering textbooks, I ordered prints, posters and business cards. While exhibits are meant to expose your work (a priceless honor for any job-hunting senior), no one tells you about the dent they put in your pocket. Thank God you don't have to pay to create a Facebook event.
2. It's painful.
Apparently glass is sharp, and when it came time to frame about 35 photographs, my hands received the brunt of this phenomenon. If you're one of my Instagram followers, you know what I'm talking about. Blood looks better with a filter.
3. It makes you criticize yourself — a lot.
This isn't a bad thing, though. As author Matt Bondurant once told me during an interview, "All too often, we think our work is great." These exhibits aren't a declaration of any kind of "greatness" (in fact, if you think this, you're not allowed to come see them), but rather a (very) public marker of things I've learned. If all goes well, I'll look back on these photographs and see them as a starting point to how far I've come.