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Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Michelle Greenfield ’18

Phoenix, Arizona • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology View Profile

The Nassau Herald

Princeton's yearbook

One of my favorite moments every year in high school was receiving my yearbook and flipping through the pages, remembering all of the fun moments from the year. There was the first Friday celebration, Blue and Gold Night (our school’s big spirit night), Track and Field Day, Prom and so many other special memories. I loved having my friends and teachers sign it. I always read what they said and couldn’t help but smile as I reflected upon how fast the year went by.

However, rather than just being a photo collection, the yearbook serves as a reminder of where I was and where I am going. I look back at my preschool yearbooks with amazement, realizing how much I have grown since then (both literally and figuratively). I can see how my hairstyle has changed, how my friend groups have shifted and how the world as a whole has evolved. For example, I look at my yearbooks from middle school in comparison to now, and I recognize how gaucho pants and Juicy Couture track suits are no longer the “in” things. Plus, there is nothing better than a yearbook pick me up on a bad day. Reading back over all the nice things my friends and teachers have said about me over the years instantly puts a smile on my face. If you haven’t tried this yet, the next time life gets you down, I highly suggest trying this.

When I arrived at Princeton, I didn’t realize colleges actually had yearbooks. I should have known better because Princeton loves tradition and recording its history. The Nassau Herald, our yearbook, was first published in 1864. It was originally separated into two books. The first was the Bric-a-Brac, which focused on all aspects of undergraduate life. The second book was the Nassau Herald, which focused on the four-year experience of the senior class. The two books merged a few years ago to become one large Nassau Herald.

Once I learned that Princeton had a yearbook, I applied to the agency seeking a job as the graphic design editor. Once accepted, I had the power to create the very thing that holds the memories of the school. My team and I work to document the year so that future generations of Princetonians can look back and see all that happened. When His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama visited my first year, we recorded it. When former President Jimmy Carter came to speak, we included it as well. Other things such as the first snowfall and the results of athletic seasons are included in the book too. Now that I am co-editor-in-chief of the Nassau Herald, I oversee the entire production of the yearbook. Learning organizational and managerial skills has been very helpful in my time at Princeton, and I’m sure will continue to be beneficial after I graduate.

This year, I am excited to announce there are big changes in store for the Nassau Herald. We are adding 3D effects and links to movies so that the book comes alive as you read it. We hope that this will add to the experience so that current and future Princetonians look fondly upon their yearbook and smile when they reflect upon their Princeton experience. While we all have cameras on our cell phones and can print our photos inexpensively, there is something to be said for having a yearbook on your table at home.  

If you are a prospective student and were involved in yearbook in high school, rest assured, you can still be involved in college too. All it takes is an application, and then you can have one of the best jobs on campus! If you are interested in learning more about the Nassau Herald, please check out our website to see the ways in which we are documenting the Princeton experience.