Documenting your seniors final year of high school


As I write this, my second child, Riley is into his 5th week of Year 13. This is the final year of high school here in Hong Kong. I know in other countries it is called “Senior Year” or Year 12 or when I was in school (many moons ago) it was my Matriculation. No idea why?? He is in a school that follows the IB; or International Baccalaureate. And if you have any idea about this curriculum you will realise how challenging, but rewarding it is. Considering it only seems like yesterday and this cute little guy started in Farm Nursery. His days consisted of playing with trucks, cars or anything with wheels; and learning his numbers. Now he is over 6ft tall, growing some kind of beard and lucky for me, is still a really loving and caring young man.


The idea of documenting his senior year came from one of the OG scrapbookers, Cathy Zielske. She has 2 adult children now and has a background in graphic design and is amazing with words. She wrote and actually designed a course called “Message to my…” and insert whatever phrase you like. Basically every week she would write a note to her daughter and then included a photograph.


Blogpost: https://www.cathyzielske.com/2014/08/youve-those-seniors/


Self Paced Course: https://www.czclasses.com/product/message-to-my-launch/


So I took this idea and set about creating a book for my oldest daughter, Sarah (side note; she graduated in 2018). I didn’t write a note to her every week but I did create about 30 separate posts/entries about a whole variety of different topics and themes. After some thought, some experimenting, I ended up creating the posts in an Instagram account that I created specifically for this project. This account was private, I didn’t have any followers and I didn’t follow anyone. It was made with the specific goal of using the content to print into a book. The idea to do it this way came about because I have been subscribing to “Chatbooks” for a few years, printing little books that were attached to my younger daughters art Instagram account. So I knew how it would look, and in the end, I was really happy with how it turned out.





3 years later, I am back here again, but this time, with my son. I have changed the way I am going to produce the book and that is because the Project Life app (the platform I use to document all my families memories) just released an update that included “editorial” pages. Basically, they are pages that allow for more writing and only 1-3 photos. Perfect for this project.




I went through the list of prompts that I had written up after creating my daughter's book and made a few tweaks to make it more personal to him. My plan is just to write an entry every 2 weeks and then either find a photo or take a photo that matches it. I just love this project and I hope my son does too. I know that one day, when he is a grown man, maybe with his own family he can look back and remember this 17-year-old version of himself. I know I wish I could do that!!