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Making a college scrapbook

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Save the faces, save the memories with a college scrapbook
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By making a college scrapbook you will save your memories for the years to come

Your college years will be some of the best…and some of the most challenging years of your life. So it only makes sense that you want to save the memories for the decades to come. And a scrapbook is a wonderful way to do that.

If you’re just starting college, and aren’t sure what to keep, and how to mark the special moment of your college years, here are some tips to get you started on making a college scrapbook you’ll treasure.

Buy the book, start where you are

No matter how good your intentions are, if you don’t have an album for your pages, odds are your planned scrapbook will end up as bits and pieces in a box somewhere.

Instead of collecting souvenirs for someday, the best plan is to buy a good, acid-free scrapbook binder and start from the beginning. If school has already started, or you’re not a freshman, pick a binder that allows you to add pages later on and start where you are. You can always go back and add pages later on to catch up.

Tell your story

One of the biggest mistakes novice scrapbookers make is to fill the pages with pictures and memorabilia, but forget to leave space to tell the story. And it’s easy to understand why. When you’re in the middle of it, it’s impossible to believe that you’ll ever forget the people in the photos or the funny thing that happened that day. But trust me, you will. If you don’t “journal” in your pages, those details will be lost forever.

If at all possible, do your journaling in your own handwriting. Yes, of course you can print out your captions and stories and add them to the page. But it’s more personal when it’s your own writing.

Make it last

You want your scrapbook to last, so make sure the papers, adhesive and page protectors you use are all acid-free and archival safe. If you have special paper items you want to include that aren’t acid free, like tickets or programs, a quick spritz with an acid-neutralizing spray will do the trick.

Personalize it

Turn a plain scrapbook into something that really says something about you. Most college bookstores have stickers and many have mascot-themed scrapbook paper, too.  Check out your local craft store or an online scrapbook supply catalog for stickers, cardstock, titles, and other scrapbook embellishments to add interest to your pages.

Keep your supplies handy

One of the best ways to keep your scrapbook up to date is to work on a page as soon as an event is over. That means you need to keep the basics on hand to make a new page whenever you have time. A plastic box or folder with assorted colors of cardstock, acid-free glue, scissors and a few extras can make saving your memories quick and easy.

Don’t forget to save….

What you save is entire up to you, but here are some popular things people who are making a college scrapbook might want to include:

  • Your college acceptance letter
  • Your first dorm assignment letter/e-mail or first apartment information
  • Pictures of your dorm room(s) or apartments before and after your move in each year
  • Class schedules
  • Orientation programs/tickets/schedules
  • Homecoming souvenirs (game programs, tokens, wristbands, etc.)
  • Pledge cards for your sorority or fraternity
  • Your textbook bill (who knew boring books could cost SOOOO much!)
  • Menus from local restaurants you love
  • Tickets from trips home
  • Special event buttons, tags or wristbands
  • Concert tickets and programs
  • Your tuition bill (scary, I know. But someday it will look cheap compared to the new rates)
  • Letters from friends back home
  • Bits from walks in nature (pressed flowers, seashells, stones, leaves)
  •  Samples of class notes, complete with the doodles
  • Grades (well, maybe not!)
  • Things to remind you of silly, fun times with new friends
  • Pictures of care packages from mom or dad
  • Confetti or streamers from parties or parades
  • Tokens from college life “firsts”…first college date, first exams, first all-nighter…

Have fun with it

Keeping a scrapbook shouldn’t be work, so have fun with it. Don’t worry about blurry pictures or crooked handwriting. This is all about you, so it’s all good. 

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