The Complete Guide to Signing Yearbooks

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Let’s talk high school social norms. I’m sure you already know that to be popular you need to be smart, kind, charitable, friendly, inclusive, and honest.

Oh, wait, sorry, I got mixed up; that’s how to be popular in the real world. In high school, you just need to be willing to compromise every moral you’ve ever been taught by anyone (including that talking fish-on-a-board thing where you press a button and it sings a song to you).

But I’m sure you already knew that. If you didn’t, well, spoiler alert. I’ve just laid humanity naked before your eyes–no, don’t try and picture that.

However, even for teens, it can be hard to predict the social guidelines for once-a-year experiences (such as Halloween, Valentine’s Day, or the End of the World!!!!!). That’s why I’m here. Actually, I’m here to eat, chew gum, procrastinate, make life difficult for anybody who’s not a teen, and maybe sleep once in a while, but don’t worry about that.

Instead, you need to be worrying about yearbook signing. Let’s put this into perspective using two scenarios:

  • Scenario A: You are walking up the stairs one day when you trip and fall. A few people see you, and by the end of the day this story is all over school.
  • Scenario B: You are signing yearbooks, and you write something stupid. Nobody reads it until school is out.

Now, initially, which do you think is a worse situation? If you said A, you’re incorrect (and also probably, um, ‘superbly terrific at understanding presented ideas directly,’ or STUPID, for short. Did you even read the title?).

Here’s why: after fifteen years, no one will remember you fell going up the stairs unless you broke your nose and it is now crooked and/or missing. But after fifteen years, your yearbook note will be so overanalyzed and well-known that you can’t walk into a job interview without the interviewer saying, “Hey, aren’t you that guy who wrote ‘I’m not sure if I like you or not, and you sort of smell like burning rubber,’ inside that one yearbook back in 2012?’ And you misspelled like?!” Then, they will proceed to reject your application and set your car tires on fire.

So, this brings up the first two rules of signing yearbooks:


Now, ideally, you want to believe what people write in your yearbook. Thankfully, your ego will ignore the fact that your brain knows the majority of the statements are lies. Being teens, most of us despise 80% of the people we meet, unless we live in New York, in which case it is okay to despise 95% of all people we’ve met.

However, you can’t let this on in your writing. So, instead of saying what you really think, say something nice. Compliment the person on their hair (“I like that you have hair”). Their shoes (“Your shoes compliment your hair”). Or even their eyes (“I look into your eyes and I know that my hair will never be as attractive as your shoes”). Really, as long as you use the word hair, you can’t go wrong*.

*This is because, in twenty years, due to the scientific fact that everything will cause dangerous health effects if you test it on rats enough times, we’ll all be bald from overexposure to cellphones/facebook/bottled water, and no one will remember anyone’s hair anyways.

Don’t Misspell Anything

While it’s definitely okay to write with worse grammar than a concussed pigeon when texting or writing your college application, the yearbook is an exception. You don’t want to be the kid who forgot how to spell ‘summer,’ or, worse yet, the kid who misspells ‘like’ (as in, “I lick your awesome personality, we should hang out this sumar.” Unless, of course, you are a dog and plan to hang out in the Iranian district of Sumar, in which case, write that all you want).

Don’t Be Stupid

Yes. I know. At first glance, this seems impossible; your hormones, combined with the peer pressure of millions of other hormones (especially that one hormone down the block whom I like to call Gerald), will keep you forever stupid, as a teen. However, when I mean don’t be stupid, I mean it literally.

You do not want to write in the yearbook anything that makes you seem remotely less intelligent than your peers. In ten years, being stupid will have gone from “therefore I’m super popular,” to “therefore I’m not smart.” Don’t write, for example, “Haha dude ‘member that time when I drank that raw egg after I failed out of P. E. and then threw up on the shoes of the varsity football captain? Hahaha…”

But that’s not even the worst of it. No, if you want to be stupid and ironic at the same time, write “Your so smart” and then sign it. If you can’t figure that one out, then this blog post has probably offended you. Sorry.

Of course, at the end of whatever you do write, you will want to sign your name. Chances are, it’s probably illegible. Therefore, you should just write “visit” instead, because it’s not like they would have been able to read your signature. After all, looking at this valuable and groundbreaking life advice I’ve just given you (Lie, Don’t Misspell Anything, and Don’t Be Stupid), it’s the least you can do.

Last year, we brought you “Returning One’s Textbooks gives the Same Benefits as Dead Fish.” Since you probably have no idea what that means, you should just head over and check it out.

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