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How to Update Your Senior Wills Page

Highlight school sports in your yearbook.
Senior wills have been a tradition for decades.
Photo credit: Flickr CC user: Hunter College Archives

Most yearbooks have a senior wills section, which is a lot less morbid than the name implies. Senior wills are those few pages in the book where the graduating class bequeaths something to the people coming back next year — a staff member or school counselor for example. Often, the wills are written in a tongue-in-check fashion, with people leaving behind silly things like, their “ability to annoy Mrs. Johnson at least once during class”, or their “knack for always getting locked out of the school bathroom”, or even their ability to “stare at the hot boy in chemistry class and not listen to the lecture.”

The senior wills tradition has been around for decades and continues to be a popular yearbook device. They often get pretty personal, giving insight into what was important to that senior during their time at school. However, even with funny jokes and silly sayings, the long list-like format can sometimes feel a little dated among the colorful, photo-filled pages and unique spreads. With social media and our digital lives, people want to look at things quickly and retain the information. If it doesn’t catch their eye right away, they’ll move on.

Here are  some ways you can make the senior wills seem fun and fresh again without making your readers turn the page too quickly:

Selfie Senior Will

We live in the age of selfies — people’s self-portraits takeover our Facebook and Instagram feeds all the time — so why not incorporate this phenomenon into your yearbook wills? Instead of just writing out a long list of bequeathments, have each senior take a silly selfie of themselves, either alone or with the person they’re leaving something behind for. You can photoshop in their bequeathed items in quote bubbles above their heads or attach cute emojis to their photo. Basically, you can digital it up as much as you want.

Faux-Facebook Status Senior Will

Mock up a fake looking Facebook status update with each senior’s photo next to it. They have less than 140 characters to share everything they want to leave behind with the next class. Not only is it visually interesting, giving it a character limit will hold people’s attention for longer.

Spread ‘Em Out Senior Will

You can also mix things up by literally mixing things up. Instead of having a long, wordy list takeover a few pages, have the senior wills appear throughout the yearbook. They can be randomly placed or you can space them according to their interests. For example, the homecoming queen’s will can appear on the page that covers that event. You can put a photo by each one — you can even incorporate the selfie senior will idea — to make each will stand out among the various pages.

Rather than having your senior wills page look like another boring, old list, what can you do to make it stand out? Do you think senior wills should even be in the yearbook anymore? Let us know your thoughts in the box below.

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