I know, some people will probably be shocked. I got rid of them! I didn’t donate them, I didn’t scan them. I put them in the recycle bin. Gone.
As I’m going through my Minimalism Journey (so important, it’s capitalized), the one box I kept shifting around was the one with my yearbooks. I kept putting it off and putting it off. I finally just decided one night, it was time. Here’s why:
-I hated high school. I admit it. It wasn’t the best years of my life (not the worst either) but high school (and middle school) just wasn’t that great. I went each day just trying to get through the day, so I could hurry up and graduate and move on with my life. Subpar education, overcrowding (I had 750 students just in MY graduating class!). I didn’t belong to any clubs, sports, or extracurricular activities (except for band *shrug* and art. I got rid of my silly artwork long ago) If you asked me to name even half of the people in my class, I couldn’t do it. I thought “Why would I keep other people’s memories?”
-The yearbooks were a source of contention EVERY SINGLE YEAR. My mother insisted I have one. For EACH YEAR. And let me tell you, these things, at 295+ pages were EXPENSIVE. My mom was raising me alone. I wasn’t interested in the yearbook. And each year when I would ask her politely to save her money, it would start a fight. I told her, I had my few friends and stuck with them. I didn’t know all 2800 kids in my school, who would sign it? Each year I’d come home after Yearbook Day (when they’d hand them out) and she’d be waiting eagerly by the door, she’d automatically open it to look at the signatures and find none. I’d leave as soon as they handed them out. Another fight. My memories of yearbooks were of my mother yelling at me. They were just a reminder to me that I disappointed her because I just wasn’t a social butterfly as she had hoped.
-They were flipping HUGE. I checked them, the high school ones… 295+ pages EACH. I had one for each year of middle school. My diploma came in some fancy thick flip folder. The box all of these items were in weighed 63 pounds. I’m not kidding. I have moved countless times, and every time I grumbled as soon as I got to the Yearbook Box. It was heavy, it was big and a pain.
Look at them! (That rolled up thing on the top was a massively long 8th grade class photo. I remember they had to edit a bunch of kids in the picture because they were using gang signs. Fond memories!)
-I never looked at them. In the 15 years (cough. I’m aging myself) since I’ve graduated, I think I’ve looked at them 3 times. Because someone who’s name I recognized had been arrested and I thought maybe I had gone to school with them and I wanted to put a name to a face. I was usually right. Honestly, using yearbooks as a reminder who has beaten their wife, committed grand larceny and has been selling drugs- these memories, does not equal joy.
-I didn’t bother to ask my school if they wanted mine as I know they keep an archive of all years. I thought about asking my mom if she wanted them as she insisted on buying them but then thought it would just start another fight.
Now I’m not at all suggesting to anyone to get rid of theirs if they don’t want to. I’m just providing my reasons. I cut out my pictures and those of my friends and recycle recycle recycle.
And I got rid of a 63 pound physical and mental burden. Felt good.