What do you talk about at a 50-year high school class reunion?
High school was a long time ago. And in high school, all of us were going through our own developmental awkward stages, challenges, and personal dramas. Those experiences were part of our private training ground–in more ways than academic.
What moments, memories influenced who you are now?
Who are you now? What surprising path(s) took you from high school and led you to here?
Some of us barely knew each other back then. Unless we had a class together or interests in common (science club, track, music, theater) or friends in common, we may have never met. Our common frame of reference is that school, in that community. High school cliques and social status don’t apply anymore. We took our own path to creating a grown-up life for ourselves; some by intent, others by circumstances we stumbled into. We evolved into who we are now.
All roads traveled were necessary experiences we lived, and led us here to now.
I invited my classmates to write a chapter in a collection of stories from the class of ’73…because it felt like fun; a giving-back thing also; and voluntary for those who wanted to add their chapter. Alas, it didn’t happen. There are ideas that take flight and those that don’t, at least not in my time-space box. The universe or divine grace has it’s own timing. I did my part, to share an idea, to plant seeds. (a farmer’s daughter, and all; earth lessons.)
What to talk about.
So, I’m re-purposing those idea notes here into Things to Talk About at a major milestone Class Reunion. Catching up includes the usual family, careers, retirement living, and of course, some high school nostalgia reminiscing. After that, though, here are some thoughts, in no particular order:
- Personal collections and or quirks or hobbies (like art fair coffee mugs that match what I’m wearing)
- Who do you need to thank (or apologize to). Do this now, if you can.
- Professional / work roles you’ve held
- Volunteer gigs, causes you care about (animals, libraries, environment, community theater)
- What class(es) in high school turned out to be much more useful than you ever imagined back then. (Can I say typing?! and English classes. I owe those teachers a huge thank you.)
- Where have you traveled and or lived
- Defining moments, things that changed you, shifted your perspective; watershed words or experiences
- What’s different about you, from most people? (Brother number 3 once told me I was from a different planet…and he was right… and it works for me, as much as ‘his planet’ works for him–and ‘your planet’ works for you.)
Most important, ENJOY this reunion experience. Savor and treasure these moments, these people.
I shall pass through this world but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do, let me do it now…For I shall not pass this way again.Etienne De Grellet
Tips to write your story…
If you ever want to.
Make it EASY (Energizes And Satisfies You) on yourself. A chapter or a story can take many forms. Go with what works for you. Some like bullet points and lists. Others prefer writing paragraphs. It’s perfectly fine to use a mix.
Give it a fun name; an Artist Statement, for example, or not. Let it fit your heart and spirit. Simple is good.
Technology has made writing much easier. Google docs and Word are often used because they make it simple to add, rearrange, delete, make bullet points, and generally play with your story as you’re creating. You can go back and change things, add something else you thought of later. It doesn’t all have to be done, finished, written in one sitting. (I LOVE that about this stuff! … so far away from those carbon copies and white out required in typing class.)
Not everybody’s a tekkie or a writer. Don’t let either of those scare or intimidate you. If I have a superpower, it’s taking away fear factors around such things and making it feel doable for you. (Just ask. We go back 50 years after all. I’m happy to get you started so you can do this.)
Technical notes (optional)
- Styles are fun and easy.
- Built-in tabs to indent paragraphs
- Built-in paragraph separators;
- no extra carrier returns needed to separate paragraphs
- Use built-ins for paragraphs and spacing
- Use built-ins for headings
- Use built-ins for bullet points
- No whining, blaming, or complaining
- Be positive, please; be kind.
- What do you want known about who you are and your lifetime in this world?
As a classmate, I’m sincerely looking forward to seeing you again. As a seasoned humble human being, I get that talking to some we’d never dared to in high school can be a step out of our comfort zone. We’re grown now, though. So greet one another, say hello, wish one another well.
I choose to believe every one of us has lived our life, has done the best we could with what we knew at the time, and that our life played out as it had to.
Let’s make this reunion opportunity something worthwhile, and above all, good.
In joy – Anne Wondra