One of the best ways to reconnect with your past is to flip through the pages of your high school yearbook. Here’s that guy who won the science fair prize every year. There’s the teacher who always brought snacks to study hall. And did we really walk around in public wearing that?
Yearbooks are an amazing record of their time, filled with the hopes and dreams of young people on their way to making their mark in life. They are valued in genealogical research and are considered proof of the fruition of culture and fashion. There have even been studies on how much wider smiles are now compared to the past, as well as predictive studies by psychologists who look at people’s expressions to predict happiness, length of life and more.
With the April issue of 517 Magazine celebrating “Women Who Work It” — meaning women who have led the way in their chosen roles in the workplace and at home — browsing through your old yearbook could be a big confidence booster. It reminds us of a time when we were a little unsure of ourselves and our futures. Now here we are in 2021, having relished our roles, breached some barriers and made it through one of the toughest years in our lifetimes. We can be proud of our achievements. We can remind ourselves that everything has a way of working out.
If your yearbook has gone missing, or is just buried deep in the attic, check out Capital Area District Libraries’ local history collection at cadl.org/yearbooks. It offers free access to full-color, digitized yearbooks from schools throughout Ingham County. The files are all keyword-searchable, so you can enter a last name to quickly find people.
Enjoy your trip down memory lane.