Yearbooks

High School yearbook pictureLooking through your old high school yearbook can really change your perspective on things. Stuff that seemed so important at the time seems a lot more mundane when there’s the distance of time between you and your high school years. You read some of the stuff you just had to put under your picture….and now it’s all so quaint and occasionally you even have to rack your brain to even remember what they are.

A yearbook itself is a collection of odd memories that are recorded at the time. A time when you were younger and much stupider. If you were to completely forget all of it you probably wouldn’t miss them that much anyway.

Your Photograph – it is a rarity that someone ‘loves’ their high school photograph. Years later most people look at their photo and think, “Did I really look like that?!?! Was that hairstyle really cool once? What the hell am I wearing? I can’t even look at this!”

Just the thought that this will be the last image some of your classmates will have of you for the rest of their lives isn’t a comforting thought. Hopefully they’ll track you down on Facebook and marvel at a more current photo of you.

Quotes – everyone has those cliched bumper sticker sounding slogans that are supposed to be inspiring. You find them on every page. “Our journey ends…”, “A bright future…”, “A new chapter begins…”, “What lies ahead…” it goes on and on. I guess it’s hard to think up any new ones, so the same ones get recycled over and over again, year after year. Some are quotes from songs, some philosophical sayings, almost none are original. And almost all have been used countless times in other yearbooks.

Most Likely – I never liked the idea of voting for someone for such a cutesy title as being the Most Likely….whatever. The worst is the one who gets Most Likely to Succeed. I wouldn’t want the pressure of that. Imagine having the whole class be counting on me to become a success. Why am I expected to represent my class in this way? Are they going to help me reach this success or do I have to do it all on my own? And how successful do they want me to get? Maybe my idea of success is different than theirs.

And another thing, what about all the people who didn’t win Most Likely to Succeed? What is that telling them??? Is everyone else just vying for the title of Most Likely to Fail now? They have little to no chance of succeeding? Are we considered lumped in with the batch title of Well Maybe With Some Luck You Can Possibly Succeed, But We’re Certainly Not Going To Count On It. You never saw that title under someone’s picture I guarantee you!

Popular People – You’re flipping through the pages and you come across the same people over and over again. They’re pictures are plastered all over the place. They’re part of every club, team or event that ever took place at the school. They’re even posing in pictures with teachers (the brown nosers!).These are usually the people who win those Most Likely titles by the way.

The yearbook almost becomes their personal album about themselves and their life at the school and we’re fortunate that they’re sharing it with us. A little bit of fairness should be shown. I think everyone should get equal page time! If you’re not in any of the photos of the clubs or sports or whatever, you should be given some photo space to do whatever you want with. A tour of your locker, your favorite seat in the cafeteria, the spot where that bastard teacher caught you with cigarette. The Class President shouldn’t be more important than those guys who spent the last four years sniffing glue and doing doughnuts in the parking lot. The book is about OUR CLASS, let’s give everyone equal time!

I didn’t get to work on my yearbook. Most of my suggestions probably would have been vetoed anyway. It’s doubtful they would ever sway from the traditional layout they’ve had for all this time. I haven’t seen any newer yearbooks in recent years, so maybe they’re different now. They’ll always serve the same purpose though. In years ahead most people will look at them and see how much they’ve grown, recollect about certain people that they haven’t heard from in years and admire how nice looking that one particular person was (every school has one) and wonder if time has been as kind to them….as it has been with you.

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