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What to Write in a Yearbook

Yearbooks are full of forgettable content. Most of us don't know what to write in our classmate's yearbooks and so we settle for mediocrity. There's no need, as long as you follow a few simple steps.

For Strangers

You'll have to sign a lot of yearbooks for people you see every day but don't actually know. You'll have to pretend like you do.

- If you don't know their name, either skip the greeting or go with something vague like "Hey" or "Dude."

- If you don't want to have to write "Hey bro," start off with an exclamation instead like "Holy cow!" or "Yay, summer!" as your intro.

- If you know nothing about the person, come up with a standard quote, joke or witticism to use with everyone. This will make you stand out while still being usable across the board.

- Avoid clich�s like HAGS ("Have a Good Summer!") and weirdly sentimental statements (If you don't know the person, don't say "I'm really going to miss you.")

- Keep it brief. One to two sentences maximum.

For Acquaintances

These are the people you shared every class with for four years but only spoke to a handful of times. You may have to fake a certain amount of friendship.

- Ideally, if this person seems to know a lot about you, have them sign your yearbook before you return the favor. Read the caliber of their message and base yours off of that.

- Focus on anything you did together. Mention something funny that happened in a shared class, or tell them you'll miss doing a group activity with them.

- Remember that people like hearing about themselves. If you can think up a memory (any memory) of something they did and talk about how funny or memorable it was, even if it wasn't. If you've never told them what you really like about them, now is the time.

- If you know literally nothing about this person, fall back on your joke or witticism standard.

- This can be medium length. A paragraph or two at most is typical.

For Friends

This one's easy. Just say whatever you want. Who cares? You're friends!

- Yearbooks are about preservation. Feel free to put in in-jokes, catchphrases, nicknames, teasing insults and other bits of playful banter that you'd otherwise end up forgetting over the years.

- No need to focus on the big stuff; remember the small moments. You'll probably remember that you were both in soccer after ten years, but you might not remember that hilarious thing your math teacher said after class that one time.

- Feel free to open up a little and share how you really feel, especially if you're going to be parting ways next year. Just avoid big bombshells or deep confessions.

- Take up as much space as you need to. Other people aren't as important as you! (Just make sure your friends feel the same way about you!)

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