What Are Your Feelings on Yearbooks?

Tomas is in high school now, and we just got the order form for his yearbook. Denisa looked at it and wondered why in the world they were that expensive ($60 or so?), and why anyone would want one.

Honestly, it was the first time I’d ever even asked myself that question. For me growing up, a yearbook was just something you always got. My first instinct was to say “Of course he needs a yearbook. What else is he going to be doing at the end of the year while everyone’s getting signatures in theirs?” Though of course Denisa wouldn’t know anything about that, mainly because the yearbooks I have sit on my shelf and do nothing but gather dust.

Which made me begin to question my first instinct. I’m likely going to get those yearbooks down off the shelf and leaf through them again, but I wondered what everyone else thought about yearbooks in general.

For the sake of Denisa, allow me to give a bit of background on yearbooks. They typically have a class picture for everyone in the school (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Also teachers and administrators.) In addition, they have pictures of people in clubs and groups (music groups, sports, drama, etc.) It keeps a record of what happened in the year, though it’s primarily focused on seniors. (In my yearbook, sophomores got very small pictures in it, juniors bigger pictures, and seniors the biggest, in color.)

The last week or two of school, you get your yearbook and spend time getting signatures from your friends and (possibly) some teachers. Often the signatures come with a note of some sort. “Have a great summer” if you’re just acquaintances, and something more personalized if you’re better friends. Actually, now that I describe it, I want to check out my yearbooks even more, which maybe answers the question for me.

It’s true that Facebook and other social media has made it that much easier to keep in contact with everyone you want to stay in touch with, but yearbooks offer the chance to take a snapshot of how things were those years. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, and all that nostalgia at $60 seems like a deal.

But what think you all? Are yearbooks worth it, or are they something you’d suggest your kids just skip?


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2 thoughts on “What Are Your Feelings on Yearbooks?”

  1. I’m totally pro-yearbook. I’m with you on the snapshot in time vibe to it. The people who sign your yearbook and the messages that they share are completely reflective of a current place and time. In Verona, you can leave a note of love on the wall near Juliet’s balcony. When I was there 15 years ago, I wrote notes for two people who I loved at the time. I don’t feel that way anymore (well, one was a best friend, and she’s still wonderful), but that was a stop-in-time moment. It doesn’t matter what our relationship is now – what matters is what the relationship was at the time. It’s frozen.

    I think yearbooks (and their signatures) represent a lot of the same things: it’s part of your history and how you later became the person you were to become!

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