CUA New Voices

The Value of The High School Yearbook

I had a great conversation with my nephew about the value of the high school yearbook. He actually has many different ideas about all high school things. I noticed in high school that, for many students, yearbooks  are either something to get every single year, or not at all. Some students buy a yearbook no matter what, but others completely refuse every year. Students always are told, “you’ll want a yearbook to look back on!”, but being young it’s hard to actually decide if that’s true or worthwhile.

Why buy a yearbook?

Having a yearbook is a cool way to be able to look back on the year,  yearbook will be a nice thing to remember.
Looking back at pictures of yourself and your friends at different points in your lives can be pretty fun, and a great way to reminisce.

Plus, having friends sign your yearbooks is always fun. It’s cool to see what people have to say about you.

Why not buy a yearbook?

The main reason that I can see is the cost. For many high schools, yearbooks can cost over $50, and some cost $100.
Granted, you’re (usually) buying a quality album, but this is still a hefty price tag for many high school students.

Usually, there are ways to help cut the cost. Many schools will fluctuate the price of yearbooks — you may be able to buy it for less if you reserve it far in advance, or perhaps at the beginning of the next year, when there are leftover yearbooks the school is trying to get rid of.

For other students, yearbooks just generally aren’t appealing at the time, for whatever reason. I asked friends who didn’t buy yearbooks why they decided not to, and they said, “I hate high school and don’t want to remember it”, “It doesn’t seem worth it to me”, or even “I just don’t care”.

How about buying the yearbook my senior year?

Buying a yearbook for all four years of high school may be a bit unnecessary, but I would strongly recommend buying your yearbook in your senior year.

After your senior year, you’ll never most of your classmates again. Their autographs and pictures in your yearbook are as good of a way as any to remember the people you used to see every day. Plus, yearbooks usually focus primarily on the seniors, with large sections devoted to sports, clubs, senior sendoffs, and just general pictures of the leaving class. It’s the one year that the yearbook is most about you.

Whether or not you buy one is up to you (and if you can afford it), but I strongly recommend buying at least one yearbook while you’re in high school — and of course I recommend it being during your senior year. I would say the other three yearbooks are much more optional.

How much am I going to use my yearbook?

A yearbook isn’t something you’re going to casually look through several times a week, but rather something you stumble upon once every several years and take a glance through. You might open it to reminisce about high school, to try to remember that one kid’s name, or even to show your children what you were like when you were a pesky teenager.

I’ve been out of high school several years and I’ve glanced at my old yearbooks a few times — sometimes to see if I recognize a name, to see how old friends used to look, or to read some old autographs. I’ve seen roommates who brought their yearbooks to college, where the yearbooks were a great way to break the ice and to get to know each other better from the beginning. For me, my old yearbooks are a good way to occasionally revisit the better times of high school.