Do you ever look at any of your school yearbooks? I recently just got rid of all mine. They were taking up a lot of room and I had dragged them around from move to move for too many years. I finally decided to purge at the end of 2020.
My elementary yearbooks were long gone – no idea when I had gotten rid of those. I don’t know about you, but my school was very small so they were the size of composition notebooks. High school yearbooks were hardbound and a bit bigger. In the 80s in my school we called them “annuals”. I had kept all four of those. After I read the ridiculously immature notes written in them and sighed at the comments and graffiti left all over advertisements, I wondered why I kept them at all.
Aside from my class photo and maybe a photo or two from band, I was not featured in them, and I remember having to save up to buy those silly things. I took photos of the important pages, then shredded any private information and dumped them in the trash bin. I took one last look at all my bullies and took a Sharpie to them for good measure. They were so mean to me! My husband was very surprised I was trashing these books and asked me several times if this was really what I wanted to do. I’m in my 50s and maybe ONE of my classmates might still keep up with me now and then so yeah, not a bad decision. LOL
Next were my college yearbooks. Those were even more expensive, bigger and just a silly waste of space. Other than my tiny class photo I was never featured in any of them and 80% of the book represented nothing about any of my interests. It took very little time to go through the college ones.
There were a few odd ones from Governor’s School and other academic places that I actually took the time to read from cover to cover. I had not seen them in ages and it was nice to remember those pleasant times. I never felt like part of any group in regular schools but when I went to Governor’s School I felt like I was with my “people”. We were all very academically gifted and quirky. I was still not the pretty one or the popular one even amongst the nerds. Still, I felt more at ease and at home at this 6 week summer school than any of my “regular” schools. Once I took photos of the important parts, I threw those away too.
Every year, I have my daughters decide if they need a yearbook or not. When they were at the same schools but different grades, I just bought one that they could share. I promised them that they will not really need to have 2 copies of the exact same yearbook. My eldest only bought the last year book in middle school and then was disappointed to see it really did not reflect her in any way.
I plan to buy this year’s yearbook for both children only because the pandemic made the year a very unique one. I thought they might like to look back on this one. The schools are also asking for photos from home so I thought it would be a very interesting one. Otherwise, I will probably not buy another until their senior high school year unless they ask otherwise. I am always careful to ask them what they want and not make the decision for them but they both seem to understand that paying a lot of money to have photos of mostly strangers does not make sense.
We are sentimental when it counts and I take a ton of photographs so their memories will be well represented. I’m glad my daughters understand the value of money and realize when it is time to invest and when it is time to hold back. Do you still have your yearbooks? Do you look at them often?