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Scrapbooking Isn’t Just for Soccer Moms

I had the great fortune of growing up a scrapbooker. Why do I consider this a great fortune? Because I only ever realized it was lame until after I was too far gone. Now I have the persistent need to eternalize all my memories into a scrapbook… and I will forever be grateful for it. 

craft table
Vladimir Proskurovskiy

I have mentally categorized scrapbookers into two groups:

  1. Soccer moms: These are the meticulous crafters that create the scrapbooks with perfect cuts and precise corners with a color scheme. They plan out every page to make sure all of their child’s major life events are accounted for.

  2. Messy scrapbookers: These are the people that lay on paper and stickers wherever they want until it looks good. The scrapbooks don’t just include major milestones, but also minor memories they don’t want to forget.

Unsurprisingly, I consider myself a member of the latter group. My scrapbooks are overflowing out of the pages and have layers upon layers. I like to think it makes it intriguing and cool to look at, but maybe I’m just too lazy to measure every little thing out. More importantly than the aesthetic are the memories that I scrapbook. Of course, I include pages for awards, graduations, and sports games, but these are the memories that I don’t need a scrapbook to help me remember. The important pages are the ones where I glue in the cardboard box of my favorite candy at the time or the ones where I caption a picture with the story of why my friends and I were hanging out in the dorm hallway all night long. These are the pages that are the most rewarding to look back on. My worst habit is collecting scraps from everything I experience, whether it be a receipt or a note somebody wrote me. This habit, however, is positively reinforced every time I look through an old scrapbook and recall a moment I would have otherwise forgotten. 

laptop, coffee, writing
Photo by Thought Catalog from Unsplash

Scrapbooks are the cross-section of journals and photos but they look a lot cuter than a notebook or the photos app. Thanks to college, we are in no shortage of small moments or inside jokes to write down and experiences to take pictures of because we’re living with our best friends. If you’re living at home this year, don’t worry that there isn’t a place for you in the scrapbooking world. We are living in unprecedented times and you’ll inevitably ask yourself what were you doing every day while taking online classes living at home? It can be as small as noting the Netflix series you are addicted to or printing out your class schedule so that when you’re old and 30 years into your career you can look back on the courses you took.

Scrapbooking has re-trained my brain to look out for small mementos to collect and memories to take pictures of. Now I have stacks of stickers and flyers from around the world that are waiting to be memorialized. Maybe that makes me a hoarder, and maybe it is lame, but at least I’m a lame hoarder that gets to look back at the stories of my life in my cute, messy scrapbooks. 

Jillian Hughes

U Mass Amherst '23

Jillian is a junior at Umass Amherst majoring in biology and public health. She currently serves as the UMass chapter's treasurer. Her favorite things are traveling, chocolate chip cookies, and listening to podcasts on long walks.
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