October 24, 2013 / Fall 2013 / Five Simple Ideas

5 Simple Ideas for… Capturing your high school experience

Written by Stephanie Car

In 20 years when you open your yearbook, you’ll want to flip through pages that truly reflect what made your high school experience unique. Although many things are the same at high schools, each one provides its own experiences in a typical day that make it different.

In Moravian Academy’s 2013 edition of The Legacy, we did this through an “MA Bucket List” page that listed everything students must do before graduating. We added what we saw happening on campus every day, like students taking walks on the “love path.”

It is critical you include these “quirky things” that occur at your high school to make it stand out.

1.  Observe your surroundings. It’s easy to overlook things that you do and see every day, however, including this daily phenomena will jazz up your yearbook and give it a more customized feel. That is what inspired my staff to create the bucket list page. Think of things every student does in your school, no matter how simple. The point is to illustrate the culture of your school. Observe what you see daily and document it!

2.  Hear the students’ voices. Including direct quotes from students is a fun way to personalize your yearbook. Quotes from students can be used to reflect funny memories and inside jokes, but they can also be used in more serious subject matter. Brainstorm ways your staff can collect these quotes, like creating a Facebook page. The easier it is for students to participate, the easier your job is.

3. Interview and ask. Add a personal touch to annual events and traditions. Approach your classmates and ask them what certain events mean to them. Reach out to a diverse group of students and faculty so that you can represent your school holistically. Having event write-ups done by students will add depth and credibility to the pages, and will also check one more thing off your to-do list.

4. Follow trends. Incorporate phrases, trends and other aspects of pop culture that are unique to your school year. This is a key way to differentiate your yearbook from past ones. One of the best parts of opening up old yearbooks is seeing how you and your lifestyle have evolved over the years. Whether you add a #hashtag onto a title of one of your spreads or include a feature of your senior class doing the Harlem Shake, these trends will stand out and help capture what was popular that year.

5. Apply it! Brainstorm with your staff ways you can incorporate these ideas so they don’t distract from your theme — or they can add to it! These various features can be included throughout the whole yearbook, or you could dedicate one spread to student quotes, ideas, trends and traditions.

Follow these five steps and your yearbook will fully capture the memories and uniqueness of each year of your high school experience that define it and make it special.

Stephanie Car

Stephanie Car was the co-editor-in-chief of the 2013 edition of The Legacy yearbook during her senior year at Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pa. During her two years as a yearbook staff member, she was responsible for organizing, designing and managing all aspects of the yearbook.