ABy Lauren Sieh
It comes at the end of the year barring pictures of one’s memories and achievements. Pages filled with clubs and organizations you did not even know existed. Seeing the typical “Have A Great Summer” messages with a signatures on the designated signature pages. Yes, the thing I am talking about the infamous yearbook.
Recently, Southwestern College has decided to not continue distributing yearbooks and there is no longer a class for it. From what I have experienced, there was not an extra fee for the book. The payment for the yearbook was included in your financial package. So why did the college stop with the yearbook? Is it simply because the need for yearbooks isn’t here anymore? Are we coming upon the time where yearbooks become extinct?
I know of people that have good memories about getting their yearbook, looking through it, and having their fellow classmates sign the pages. They love leaving messages for close friends or significant others. I am not one of those people. In my years of schooling, I have obtained maybe three yearbooks, total. It’s not because I couldn’t afford one, I simply had no interest in having one. Even signing or writing a message for my classmates held no interest.
In those three times I got one, there always seemed that something was incorrect in the yearbook. For example, my senior year of high school was one of the times I decided that I would actually purchase a yearbook. I was so excited because I had a special picture on the golf page since I was a senior. (Side note – it is very common for someone to spell or mispronounce my last name – that’s just how it goes when you have a hard last name.) When I finally got my yearbook and looked at the golf page, my last name spelled wrong. And so was my first name. As you could imagine, I was very angry. I couldn’t understand how this mistake was made. My name was spelled correctly in the beginning of the yearbook. Why would someone want to purchase a book that has a mistake in it, especially when that mistake is your name? The answer is that they would not want that. The person buying a yearbook would want everything that involves them to be correct.
Now, I can definitely see why the yearbook is becoming less in demand. How many people actually look at this book every day? For the most part, people will look at it a couple times right after getting it, then put it on a shelf where it will remain for years to be unbothered. Sure, it would be fun to stumble upon it when you’re older and look through its pages to reminisce on your younger years, but what happens after that? The book gets put away again, not to be looked at until the next time you stumble upon it.
For me, this is exactly what happens. I honestly do not know as of this moment where any of my past yearbooks are. The only one I know the location of is the one the college gave us last year. The other few are probably stuffed in boxes somewhere in my attic or hidden in a book shelf at my house. They are not as special to me as they seem to be to other people.
If you think about it, after you leave this world, what happens to the yearbook you have acquired over the years? Some of your family member may see it and find it interesting. They precede to look at it and then put it back where they found it. The book never sees the light of day again. It becomes a distant memory full of people, achievements, and memories that mean nothing to them.
Don’t get me wrong, I do get why people spend time and money on yearbooks. I get why they are made and the purpose they are made for. They are to capture the memories of you and your peers, so you have something to reminisce about years later when you find the book again. For some, they capture their best years; the ones they look back on the most. This makes the yearbook something that is very special to them and I totally understand that.
From my perspective, we are coming to a time where we are starting to see the yearbook start to disappear. Southwestern is a prime example of this. We no longer have a yearbook and don’t even know if we will in the future. My question is, will the yearbook be missed? Does it have an impact on people’s life? I will let you answer those questions yourself, but in my opinion, it does and will not.
Lauren Sieh is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may email her at email@example.com.