Turning Back the Clock: THS Time Capsules of 2020


The values of human society change at a rapid speed. Typically, these 

changes in our culture are recorded in journals, books, and other media. However, time capsules are another fun way to show the culture at the time. Typically, a time capsule is a container that is hidden away holding records or items, intended to be opened at a later date. In 1977, NASA launched their own time capsule into space, The Golden Records. The records, which were included aboard Voyager 1 and 2, included pictures and sounds selected to portray the diversity of Earth to extraterrestrial life. Since then, the values in our culture have continued to evolve. Although Tumwater High School students may not be able to launch their time capsules into space, here are some ideas that students have shared.

Ella Wyrick, a sophomore at Tumwater High School, has never made a time capsule before, but if she were to put one together, it would include her volleyball jersey, her favorite piece of sheet music, and a few family photos. Ella has been playing with her club volleyball team for quite a while, and she would want to include her jersey as a reminder of all the great memories she’s made while being on her team. Ella has been playing piano since she was a little girl, so piano is also an important aspect of her life, which is why she wanted to integrate sheet music into her time capsule. Her third and final item, family photos, really captures how much Ella values the importance of family. Ella would prefer to go through the process of making a time capsule individually because “[she] would get to look at [her] own personal growth and how far [she has] come as a person.” As a note to her future self, Ella expressed how she never wants to lose sight of her goals, as well as always work diligently. Because she is only a sophomore, Ella would probably wait 10-15 years before revisiting her time capsule; at this point, she would be done with college and embarking on a whole new chapter of her life.

Unlike Ella, Clay Morgan, a freshman, says that if he were to make

a time capsule this month he would put money in his “because it gains value over time”. He also would write a letter to his future self about all of his “goals and who he aspires to be”. Clay has always looked up to professional basketball player Michael Jordan and plans to follow in his footsteps; he dreams of competing in the NBA in hopes to play till he’s 35. Hiis plan is to retire with plenty of money to have a comfortable lifestyle for the rest of his life. Clay would make his time capsule with one of his best friends, Brady Larson. Brady says that if he were to make a time capsule he would put a football, track hat, and Vinnyy sign. If Clay were to make his time capsule he would bury it in his grandparents’ grass field in Onalaska. This way, no one would be able to mess with Brady and Clay’s capsules. He says would take a trip back to the grassy field in Onalaska to open his time capsule on his 25th birthday with Brady. On his 25th birthday, he would have just finished college and would be in the real world or perhaps the NBA.

Sadie Hill, a senior at Tumwater High

School, like Ella, would put sentimental items in hers along with some money of course! Sadie remembers making time capsules as a class project in 6th grade. She didn’t love her teacher’s ideas, so she went home and made her own, giving it her own twist! However, she has no idea where she buried it. She says that if she were to make a time capsule now, it would contain “all [her] assets in cash, a Russian dictionary, and a forged passport”. When asked why, she sweats a little, but confesses that because of this crazy year, she wants to be prepared for anything! She says that because of this crazy year, her time capsule wouldn’t change too much, but she might invest in another dictionary– Mandarin– in fear of the Chinese Communist Party. The only piece of advice she would give to her future self in her time capsule would be, “I can’t say [life] gets better, it only gets worse– but at least your skin is clear!” It seems as though senior year has definitely thrown Sadie for a loop!

Time capsules can capture a moment far better than any picture, social media post, or journal entry. The purpose of a time capsule is to hide away items that are significant to you in some way, that will be revisited at a later date. Society is constantly changing, and adapting to new cultures; time capsules are a very exciting, yet nostalgic way of reliving your memories. Time capsules were first introduced in the 1800s, and people still continue to make them today because they allow people to really appreciate all of the enjoyable memories associated with the items they chose to include in their capsule. As a student at Tumwater High School, what would you put in your 2020 time capsule?