3 Valuable Life Lessons Learned from a 50 Year Class Reunion

IMG_5980 Last month I attended my 50 year class reunion.

Cotton High School. Class of 1946.

It was a highlight of my year. I came away with some valuable insights I wish I had learned long ago.

1. Time is not on our side.

Time doesn’t take sides. Time can be an enemy or a friend. It’s what we make it. It is a window of opportunity. We are each given an unknown allotment of time to be optimized or wasted and every second of every day the allotment diminishes. This shouldn’t be depressing, it should be a motivating truth that drives us to cherish and maximize every moment.

Several of my classmates were not with us because they had run out of time. All of us who were there knew time had changed us.  We were grateful to use this day to renew friendships and remember the gift of time together we had been given 50 years before.IMG_5988

2. We shouldn’t allow time to erase past relationships. 

You might ask, “Why should anyone try to keep in touch with classmates from 50 years ago?” Because we were friends. Because every one of our classmates are children of God. Time doesn’t change that.

I spent 12 years with my classmates. Getting my diploma was not an excuse for not keeping aware of what is happening in their lives. Every relationship we have is a gift to be cherished and with today’s technology there is no excuse for not staying informed. I’m not suggesting that we have to constantly communicate with everyone we meet, but I regret not staying connected.

Had I kept in touch, I could have known of the personal loss some of them suffered. I could have prayed for my friends as they faced challenges and cheered their victories. I can’t do it over but I am committed to keeping track of these wonderful people.

I know that the busyness of our own personal lives and careers makes it hard to keep up with old friends. But I came away from this reunion wondering…

“If we are too busy to nourish old relationships, perhaps we are too busy.”

3. Time destroys the artificial social structure of High School. Thank God!

IMG_5976High School was filled with intricate strata of cliques;  jocks, geeks, brains, cowboys, farmers, goody two shoes, quiet people, rowdy people, trouble makers, bookworms, the in crowd.

All of that nonsense dissolves with time. The people at a 50 year reunion aren’t trying to impress anyone. We reveled in memories of youth and gloried in sharing the blessing and difficulties time has brought our way.

I had more fun reconnecting and reminiscing with my old friends than I’ve have had in a long time. I want to thank Linda, Buddy, Gary, Patty, Kent, Curtis, Duane and Richard for taking time to come. You made my 50 year reunion a remarkable, memorable day. You reminded me of the relentless march of time and the importance of relationships. See you next year!

Good, Bad or Ugly, tell me about your reunion experience!
Any lessons you learned? [reminder]







  1. I was counting the years and I was thinking that you all looked great to be in your 90s! You are so right about keeping up with old friends and those you promise to call. I am starting to keep a log of who I check on and what we talked about. That way I can use that to pray from and to remind me to call them about what we spoke about. It helps me as a counselor, so I was thinking it can help me in other ways. … It seems the older I get, the shorter my memory and my attention span gets. God bless you and yours Ken.

      1. I know you posted this several years ago. I am Class of 1973. I recently attended mine. Yes, time has change us. There were more men at our class reunion than women. Some I didn’t recognize, because it was first one they attended. You are right, we don’t have enough time left. Some classes have started combining their reunions with other classes. I am grateful for you putting this out here. Instead of getting together every 5 years do it often. That’s what my class decided to do.

  2. Sadly, this was to be my 45th class reunion., Because there weren’t enough of us to commit to attending, it has been canceled. We do look forward to our 50th. I think the economy has a lot to do with the non commitment. I do keep in touch of many of my classmates, we pray for each other, haven’t seen some for many years but it seems like yesterday.

    1. Change two numbers… any two number and you will see the right year. I change numbers and letters all the time. YOu can do it!!!!

  3. I celebrated my 35th reunion last fall and had a fabulous time. It was my first in many, many years. The connections made were priceless. I’ve reconnected with many classmates and we now keep in touch via Facebook. It made me wonder WHY I had declined to go all the other years. I especially resonate with your third point, Ken…even at my 35th, no one was trying to impress anyone. We just had plain, simple FUN together! So, people,…if you haven’t been to a class reunion in many years it’s time to GO!! 🙂

  4. My 30 year reunion is tonight and I didn’t go because I find them immature. I am unattached to people of this world and attached more to Godly people. The people in high school were never good people and they would hurt others. What stumps me is that no one liked one another back then trying to stay home from school and away from each other, had clicks and didn’t want to attend high school at all and now they pay to go to a reunion? It’s all backwards. Lol

  5. Hello Ken.-
    I just read your article on reunions, in 2015 I had the opportunity to attend a 35th reunion in Washington State, you see I am actually from Mexico but had a blast in 1980-81 as an exchange student at Springdale Washington, so it was the first time I visited my host family an high school friends! It truly was awesome so I am planing to visit them more often, of course I am in contact with many of my friends by facebook. Too bad some people cant forget some bad memories from the past and just cant attend reunions, I think it´s really a mistake.

  6. I went to my 30th last year (class of 1987) and was able to reconnect with many people still in my hometown and learned some things from them and how they view things differently then what went on in highschool. Many of us keep in touch through Facebook since we are all across the United States. But as we mature the friendships are still there. We also talk about those that died young before their time. I’m not quite yet fifty, but several classmates died when they were in their mid 30’s to mid 40’s due to health related issues, but two classmates died before graduation due to health problems and the other an auto accident. So no matter what age we aren’t invincible. What I find when I go to these reunions is how time has changed our perspective and what we find important now versus then is our family and friends are much more valuable to us then the dumb stuff we lived for then. God is always there for us and many of us have placed him first and foremost more now then we did then. Maturity has benefits to learningwhat is important to us, because we leave this earthly world someday and we want to know we made a difference somewhere along the way. Loved the article. My mom goes to her class reunions when they occur. She has also maintained many of her friendships and occasionally letters and updates would get sent, but now they keep up by Facebook because it’s quicker and easier. I think she graduated class of 1964. She looks forward to personally reconnecting with everyone.

  7. I hope that many of us will still be around for our 60 year class reunion. there were app. 80 or so in our graduating class of 1966. So far, 13 aren’t with us anymore. It’s sad. I will attend our 60 year class reunion, if we have one.

  8. I bet a 50 year reunion would be such an interesting experience. We’ve been planning our 20th reunion and it seems like it’s been so much longer than that. Our group has been using http://www.alumniclass.com to find our classmates and teachers – We’ve also been able to plan the entire thing through Alumni Class as well. I hope I’m able to help plan our 50th reunion, how fun!

  9. I bet a 50 year reunion would be such an interesting experience. We’ve been planning our 20th reunion and it seems like it’s been so much longer than that. Our group has been using http://www.alumniclass.com to find our classmates and teachers – We’ve also been able to plan the entire thing through Alumni Class as well. I hope I’m able to help plan our 50th reunion, how fun!!

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