YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Times Have Changed, but Not for Yearbooks


A totally unscientific sampling of yearbooks on the last day of school in a local high school has yielded some interesting findings about youth today:

They are not shy about using expletives. They have developed heavy dependencies on spell-check. They write mostly about the same things their parents did, just more graphically.

Here's a 1995 update of a yearbook perennial:

Roses are red

Villiens [sic] are blue

A. wants to ---- B.

and C. too.

(Entries edited for adult sensibilities are rated TG-17--teen guidance suggested for people over 17.)

They still write in smeared ink and marker pen, adorned with s and lipstick kisses. They still exhort one another to love, loyalty and sweetness.

"Always remember to keep love in your heart and I never want to hear you say I hate her/him so much I wouldn't pee on him if his heart was on fire."

"Stay sweet, strong, bold and funny. P.S. If you ever need someone to role [sic] your eyes at, call me."

They can't maintain the veneer of youthful disaffection for very long. "Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse, and have a nice summer."

They can be shamelessly transparent. "You're so sweet. Stay the same and never change. I need rides to places this summer."

They can still take up entire pages writing about how boring their teachers are.

Entry No. 1: "Dear Nick, Having you in Mr. Keefe's class saved me from going totally insane b/c of all the dorks in our class. . . ." Entry No. 2: " . . . In the future you'll wonder why I signed your yearbook twice? Well, it's b/c Mr. Keefe is sooo boring."

For some reason, they still ask French teachers to sign their yearbooks, and the teachers still oblige by writing things like "Je vous souhaite de bonne vacances."

They are upbeat about religion. "Yo Nick! How'z it goin'? Another year of growing in the Lord! Another year closer to heaven! Jesus rocks!"

Looks--especially Southern California tans--are still everything. "We'll have to go to the pool and beach all summer so that we can get even darker than we are now."

"Seeing you leave just simply makes me wanna cry but that would make my eyes and face worse than it is."

They gossip as if no one else is ever going to pick up the yearbook and read what they wrote: "The year is finally over. I'm sick of all our friends. Dropping X was a good choice. She doesn't deserve you."

They are grateful for good friends.

"Thanks for letting me copy your homework." "Thanks for passing down all your ditching secrets to me!!" "Just remember we were good friends because you talked a lot and I forgot or didn't listen."

While some want to explain things they feel guilty about ("I'm sorry for getting mad at you but I was very distraught because of things going on with the guys") others want to twist the knife ("I want you to know that my heart burns with desire for you as the tears run down my cheeks. . . . Bet you thought I was talking about you. Well, you're wrong.")

They worry about each other's home lives as much as their love lives. "I wish you all the luck with your new home and stepdad and I hope that you can find some aspect of his personality that is not so hideous. Call me whenever."

They worry about themselves. "I hope you don't act like a stuck up senior next year when I'm a little softmore [sic]. ya."

They worry about the future. With good reason. "This is what I plan on doing: Working my ass of [sic] 1st and second semester. I plan to get nothing but A's. This way, when I get out I can party my ass of [sic] and colleges will be begging me to come to there [sic] schools."

They know when they've written too much. "I know you are saying 'Shut up now, cut the crab [sic].' "

They are not shy about using expletives. They have developed heavy dependencies on spell-check. They write mostly about the same things their parents did, just more graphically.

Los Angeles Times Articles