Everyone who tells you high school should be the best time of your life is either lying or confused. They have forgotten all the duplicity, the ugly politics of popularity, the pregnancy pacts. Instead, those people cut out the very best memories, stitching them together into a patchwork, glossy narrative that they sincerely believe represents the best four years of their life. Or, if they had a yearbook staff, then someone else did it for them.

I suspect that most people who think high school is the pinnacle of existence just had a really kick-ass yearbook committee. It's easy while looking through an old yearbook to get lost in the nostalgia because it distills the simplest, sweetest moments of youth into black and white pages where other people have written kind things about you. It's a little like being at your own funeral, except all of the speakers are really inarticulate, terrible spellers who keep insisting on calling the afterlife "college."

So I think it's important every once in awhile to remind ourselves of exactly why we were so eager to graduate in the first place. What follows probably isn't written in any of your yearbooks verbatim, but I assure you that in all those notes from your friends, classmates and professors, the subtext is the same.

TO... LIKELY MOST the woods after Disappear into accent month Develop 2 permanent a abroad for traveling

DEAR KEVIN my WAS GREAT HAVING YoU IN IT THIS YEAR! YOU EARTH SCIENCE CLASS DURING THE WERE A REAL ROCkSTAR I'D LIKE To APOL- GEOLOGY UNIT. ALSO, BE

Hey Brtan, Can you belteve reads I'm 4's auck rcally aommer a8 glad al- beasc lab partners ue 4 do 0 hnoc gave s-hfs each US a lod chance year a of on

CHARLLE BE THE COOLEST It FCEL TO PARTLES How DOES THOSE IN SENLOR CLASSP THE BELLEVE GUY EPIC. I CAN>T WERE MAN! AT you THREW DA CAUGHTI you NEVER GO

Hey oork, asked to sign your yearbook olive as an I know you me probably because people told you I'm branch of truce, of secret jealousy and an only r

TO... LIKELY MOST lesbian being a Dabble in while from nOW little for a years Call you six scheme with a pyramid

#22, Regional Champs! Go Wolves! Seriously though that was a kick-ass year. You and I been teammates since have pee-wee league some of the best experi

Yo Carrie, unremarkafle you will / was so land and completely forget obout after today. me time in Even when you read this the some future remember th

Dear Christie, summer Have an awesome wouldn't It's been real, You at the pool. my being lifequard a in this but I will be spending wrote Knou whateve

If High School Yearbooks Were Honest

Parker, Hey man, this Summer is going to be epic. we need to make the most of it because it might be the last time we hang out. I sin- cerely mean tha

DEAR SOREN IT WAS A PLEASURE YEAR. HAVING YOURE you A SMART IN My HOMERDOM ABOUT STUDENT THIS YOUR OWN AND YOURE HELP POTENTIAL OPTIMISTIC YOU THE WHI

Special thanks to Randall Maynard for being phenomenal at Photoshop.

You can follow Soren on Twitter or Tumblr, where he talks an awful lot about high school.

For more from Soren, check out 4 Ways To Shirk Responsibility And Deceive Your Way to Trust and The 7 Best Kinds of Monkeys: A Drunk Column.

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