Yearbook Wills & Prophecies: How Will You Be Remembered?

Writing a yearbook will to friends, family, and faculty.

One of the most unique ways to personalize your yearbook and have something to look fondly (or embarrassingly) back on, is to create your legacy through a will and prophecy. People have been writing yearbook legacies probably as long as there have been yearbooks. And while most have become racier than your average “I, Jon Bishop, will my U.S. History book to Mr. Schabel,” they have always been a fun way to put your real personality into the yearbook, and a final stamp on that chapter of your life.

A will is a way to pass along your best wishes to your friends, family, and teachers, combined with amazing nostalgia that you can treasure for years to come.

HOW TO WRITE A MEMORABLE WILL

  • Consider who you want to include in your will. It doesn’t have to be all about friends. It is also a chance to thank your parents for their love and support, or a great way to pass on your awesome legacy to a younger sibling or relative.
  • Think about what you like about each person. Are they hilarious? Creative? Understanding? Whatever the case, this is a chance to tell them what you appreciate about them.
  • Recall unforgettable events that you’ve shared with each of these people. These could be inside jokes that only you and a special few share, like a concert or a memorable trip you took. Or, maybe leave them all the Fridays you spent at Vinny’s eating chicken wing pizza and drinking vanilla coke (No? Just me?).
  • Pour your heart out! Don’t be afraid to let your emotions fly and tell that “special someone” how you’ve felt since 2nd grade. They may just want to look you up in the future.
  • Make amends. As senior year comes to a close and you’re feeling particularly nostalgic, you may want to apologize to Megan for flying off the handle when she took your lunch seat, or ripping Abby’s favorite shirt during a sleepover brawl.
  • Wish them the best for the future! It’s wonderful to think that you’re always going to be BFFs, but you never know what life will bring. So, wish them the best on their next journey, and remember it may not always be the same as your own – and that’s okay!

The other major component to a legacy is your prophecy. Yearbook prophecies are one-liners that sum up who you are at the moment, and the projection of what you will be 10 years into the future: “I leave HHS constantly watching Dawson’s Creek, won’t come back 10 years later because the marathon is on.” While I have just severely aged myself by referencing a teen show that played on a channel that no longer exists, it is one of my fondest memories to look back on my prophecy (laugh a little) and see how close I was to telling the future. (But in actuality, not that close, since the year after I wrote that they started making the DVDs and I was able to binge-watch whenever I wanted!)

A collection of inside jokes from high school.
Image source: Flickr user Robert Couse-Baker

STEPS TO WRITING A REMARKABLE PROPHECY

  • Describe what defines you. Are you a TV junkie? Class athlete? Or really great at picking bad boyfriends? Whatever you are at the moment, embrace it, make light of it, and write it down.
  • Think about who you want to be in the future. You may not be able to sketch a stick figure, but in the future you are aiming to be the next Picasso – and no one can take that away from you!
  • Expand on the typical one-liner. You don’t have to be defined by who you are 10 years in the future anymore than who you are right now. So, talk about the next 50, 80, or 100 years of your life! Your future is up to you and the sky is the limit.

For my class, writing a will and prophecy was the final lap in the marathon of senior year; a day everyone waited for. We could leave our friends all the little inside jokes and anecdotes we had been collecting in our memory banks since kindergarten. We’d finally be able to tell each other what we truly meant to one another, and have a glimmer of hope that the memory would be one we could share for a lifetime. We could have the final say in our destinies and project our idealistic views about who we really wanted to be “when we grew up.”

The one downside: space on the page. We each only had a small paragraph to sum up the greatest years of our lives; to leave my “Fab 15” our spring break trip and all subsequent memories that came with that; to tell my favorite teacher that I never paid attention to algebra or statistics, but learned more from him then he’ll ever know. I could have filled pages with all of those memories, but I was left with my paragraph. I tried to sum it all up in abbreviations and one-liners, but there was so much to say. In the end, I had collected little tales that defined 18 years of my life.

Group of old friends reminiscing.

One day, you’ll be eager to reminisce about days gone by.
Image source: Flickr user TheArches via Bustle.com

With more space in your yearbook, you will truly be able to leave your legacy. You’ll be able to say everything you have ever wanted to say – the good, the bad, and the angsty. It will be your look into the future, and your door to the past. Because no matter how hard you try, you can never go back… so write down everything.

Don’t worry about whether it was the best of times, the worst of times, or times you’d rather forget – your legacy will serve as a reminder. And whether these memories are a way to remind you to call a long-lost friend, or an ego-boost that you didn’t live “up” to your lame prophecy, they are the story of you. They are your inner teen telling you that you were cool once, and reminding you to go back, check out your yearbook, and relive those memories one more time.

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