Things I Miss: Profile Books
I don’t quite remember if this was a trend across the globe, but when I was in primary school, around 2001, I started at a new school and made some new friends. I was very close with a group of girls in my year group, and this thing called “profile books” went around.
Essentially, profile books were physical notebooks that contained your friends’ profiles, and I guess could be seen as a form of scrapbooking with your friends as different contributors. The idea was, you chose whatever notebook you liked, and you gave it to your friend at some point during the year and they would write their profile in it. They could include their photo, any “gifts”, draw something for you, but most importantly it was about sharing all their personal details like name, birthday, phone number and address. When I think about it, it’s a bit like an expanded address book or autograph book.
I really enjoyed writing my profile in my friends’ books. I loved handwriting, and I loved getting creative, and I loved to share things about myself (clearly that hasn’t changed, now that I have a blog). Every time someone in my year group got a profile book, I considered it an honour when they asked me to write in it.
I eventually had a profile book of my own. I started it as soon as I could. I had a diary with a lock and key, that I didn’t use very much, and it had some nice colourful pages with different designs. It was a rather thick, bound notebook with a spine. Most of my friends had thin ones, or used spiral notebooks. I was reluctant to use this diary as a profile book, but I tore out the first few pages I had written on, and passed it to my closest friend at the time, who had called dibs on writing in it first. Her writing was crazy neat and I loved that she just used pink and blue throughout her profile.
I regretted using that notebook as a profile book after some time, and soon used a new one. It was hard for people to write in my thick notebook, as it had a hard cover, and it was also rather small so people naturally took up quite a few pages or the pages were just too small for them to really fit much information on one.
I got a new one that was thinner and of a more reasonable size, and some of my friends enjoyed writing their profiles again because their information was more up to date, or their handwriting had improved, or they just hadn’t liked their previous profile in my old book.
When I read through my high school yearbook some time after I graduated, I realised that the profiles of each person in our year group, grouped together, two-to-a-page – with a profile, the obligatory “Famous Last Words” and a bit of room for an autograph or a message – reminded me of the profile books I had so fondly owned in my younger years. I no longer have the profile books my friends wrote in, and I guess their contact details also became out of date. Not to mention I don’t talk to anyone from primary school anymore.
I bumped into my old friend Diana at an Explosions in the Sky concert a few years back – I have an inkling she might have tried to look me up on Facebook and never found me because I don’t use it – but I guess it’s a bittersweet that we have moved on from the classic address book or autograph book and just search for someone on a social networking service and find them all over again. The nostalgia is lost. I will forever remember my high school biology teacher for her efforts when she gave us all a non-lined blank spiral notebook with a handmade cover of a graduation hat and wrote us personalised messages inside, inviting us to pass our book around to write messages to each other.
While I am in the hopes that something more tangible like this will return one day, maybe Facebook walls and Twitter timelines are, quite simply, the future, which is why profile books is yet another thing I miss.
I was in highschool in 2001 and I had my own book. However, I actually found one that was specifically for people to fill out and asked profile questions, had an area for a picture and even had this weird thing where they would describe their “dream guy”. I think I still have it somewhere. I would be more interested to look up who made it and if they even exist anymore. xD
It was fun at the time.
Although. Sometimes people would get bitchy and pretend to be other people and write horrible things. So some pages got removed. D:
I have never heard of profile books, but then again, it might be something that kids had from Down Under. (I should ask my Aussie cousin if she did her own profile book!)
I wish I had grown up to something like that, instead, we had something similar in middle school. It was just a simple notebook where you passed it around amongst your friends and wrote notes to each other. Kind of like a notebook chatroom of sorts. Hah!
Here in the Philippines we call it slumbook. It’s also like a burn book for other girls. Lol. I did not ever like the idea of owning a profile book but answering one is so much fun!
We don’t have profile books. We have year books. Which is kind of like the same thing, except we write in these books at the end of the school year. Most students will say “See ya ’round.” or “See ya next year.” and sometimes they will provide their contact info. Sometimes, we lose contact and never hear from our classmates again. Other times, we actually stay pretty close. Now, we have Facebook and it’s a means for us to stay in contact with each other. Without actually having to hang out.
I’m in the US, and I definitely remember profile books! It might be more of a time period thing instead of a geographical thing. I remember my book had a Hello Kitty cover and themed pages, and you would give each friend a page and write certain questions on it for them to answer. They could also include doodles, photos, and whatever else they wanted. I didn’t have very many friends, though, so my profile book was really empty :(
I did this too, except we called it “friendship books” :) I still have mine! I circulated it amongst the friends I had in Year 8 (first year of high school). I still keep in touch with these girls to this day. When I read over it, I realise how ridiculously boy crazy I was… well, still am actually haha. All the jokes and pictures remind me of how much fun we had at the time. To be 13/14 years old again…. I sometimes miss those days!
Ah, nostalgia… :D
In the USA we called them slam books. Each page had a different section and you could only take up one line. The first page was Name and we numbered each line; we’d choose the number we want and that was the line we filled out on each page. We had things like Birthday, Favorite Color, Crush, etc. I filled out so many and I had one or two of my own.
A few people from elementary, junior, and high schools have tried to get in contact with me over the years. But I never want to put in the effort to see them. I actually don’t want to see them at all. They’re all just very annoying to me; I’ve grown to be very… intolerant, I suppose, of people. And most of these people wronged me in some way, and I have never been a forgiving person. I guess that’s why I’ve only got a small handful of friends these days, but I think it’s easier this way.
I use social media to connect to people whom I like and are, to some small level, my friends, but whom I don’t want to see on a regular basis. The people I do want to see I will text and make plans with.
In my experience, “slam books” were much different. For us, slam books were where you wrote a person’s name on one page, and then passed the book around. This was a chance for everyone to comment anonymously about the person. So people would write things like, “Totally hot!” or “Has bad breath” or “I wish she would go out with me” or “Total freak!”
Kind of like Mean Girls…
OMG! we had this back in Brunei as well. during high school, i remembered it was all the rage. LOL! XD