What Are Your Thoughts on Yearbooks? A Q&A with a Middle-School Student


Week after week, we have been giving you all the need-to-knows about yearbooks. If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you’ve gotten some great information on taking great photos, creating unique themes, writing captivating content, and adding interesting sections.

However, we’ve yet to hear it from a kid’s point-of-view, to separate what works and what doesn’t. This week, I had the opportunity to interview an 8th grader, age 14, and chat about yearbooks a bit, and he had a lot of great things to say.

Q: When was the last time you purchased a yearbook?

A: Elementary school – 1st grade and 4th grade.  Although, I wanted to get rid of one of my yearbooks because I didn’t like the pictures of myself.

Q: What didn’t you like about the pictures of yourself from that particular yearbook?

A: They were fuzzy, and weren’t good quality pictures. Plus, they were black and white… when you are looking back at pictures of your friends and when you were a kid, black and white doesn’t give a good description of what you looked like.

Fuzzy or poor quality photos are one of the biggest problems kids have with yearbooks.

Q: What do you like about yearbooks?

A: Over the summer it gives you something to look at. If you move away you can look back at your friends. It gives you something to remember.

Q: Is there anything in particular you want to remember about school?

A: It’s nice to be reminded of your teachers… but that depends on whether they were nice teachers or not!

Q: What’s something you don’t particularly like about yearbooks?

A: Poor quality photos, and when people have phony smiles.

Q: What are some your favorite sections of a yearbook?

A: The sports section – I really like sports, and I like looking at the teams.

Q: Do you think looking at the teams encourages students to join a team in school?

A: Sometimes – everybody looks so happy in their sports pictures!

Q: Do you like when people sign your yearbook?

A: If I was moving away it would be good to look back on. If they were thoughtful enough to even sign their name, that’s nice.

Q: What are some of the best things someone ever wrote to you in a yearbook?

A: Mostly people signed their names. In first grade, people wrote their names with a smiley face, or hearts from the girls. I got hearts from all the girls!

Q: What do you usually write when you sign people’s yearbook?

A: The most I’ve ever written is my name with a smiley face.

Signing yearbooks is a great way to leave long-lasting messages to friends.

Q: If you had more space to sign in a yearbook, what would you say to people?

A: I’d tell them that I miss them – I used to go to another school and I never get to see those people anymore.

Q: What would you think about customizing your own yearbook page?

A: That would be cool – I could do whatever I wanted on it. I could customize it any way I wanted.

Q: What kinds of things would you put in your customized pages?

A: I’d put pictures and mess with all the pictures, like funny mustaches on people. I’d put little designs around everything – because yearbooks are kind of dull when it comes to pictures. It’s kind of boring when it’s only a bunch of pictures, so I’d add some border designs. I’d put good projects from people – like the work from the school art show. My awesome owl – we had to do a project with texture and had to choose an animal – I chose a baby owl. I forgot to take a picture of it, so I could use the yearbook to always have a picture of it.

Customizable yearbook pages are a great way to remember a past project or art you've worked on in school.

Interesting artwork from a student show or that you’ve worked on personally can make great additions to a yearbook’s customizable pages.
Image source: Flickr user Sam Howzit

Q: If you were an adult looking back on the yearbook, what would be some of your favorite things to look back on?

A: To remember all of the friends that I had, and look back at some of things they wrote in there. If you have some of your own art in there, it could remind you of some of the things you did, because not everybody keeps all of their stuff.

Overall, it seems yearbooks serve a few different purposes: not only looking back at memories, friends, and what people had to say, but also looking back at things you and your classmates worked on at school (such as an interesting project ), as well as the immediate want to be apart of something, and possibly join a team or club.

Using TreeRing’s blog suggestions, you’ll be able to side-step some of the issues like fuzzy, poor quality photos. With TreeRing’s customizable pages, you’ll be able to capture your best photos, as well as interesting designs, artwork, school projects… and whatever else you can think of!