I spent last weekend at my 10-year high school reunion. In the day to day, I rarely pause to reflect on the past year, let alone the past decade. So it was an enlightening time to reflect on the people, places, and happenings of the high school years.
Certainly, 10 years makes a big difference in people's lives. Marriage and four kids, for some people. Exotic travel and new businesses for others. The most pleasant difference was the general absence of high-school behavior and divisions. Never remotely popular in high school, I discovered that the popular types—good looking, confident, friend- and opposite-gender-magnets—were actually very similar to me, both then and now. Most of us seemed to really struggle through high school for one reason or another, whether we put on a brave face or were more shy and under-confident like I was. Now, it seems, those high-school barriers have been removed and we can discover how much alike we truly are. In our more mature state, we're actually more similar than different in some ways—with a bond that comes from spending years of our lives together in a boarding school in the middle of nowhere, South Dakota.
Another pleasant surprise was that most of my classmates seemed to have retained their core personalities. None had changed so dramatically that I had trouble believing I had attended high school with them. God had dusted off the immaturities and teenage awkwardness, revealing beautiful, adult souls.
I must admit that the negative memories that were a part of the high school muddle were not completely absent from the weekend. But more of it was about spending time together talking, laughing, traipsing through tourist traps, and praying together.
Certainly, my last two years of high school was not among the most pleasant times in my life. Moving in grade 11 to a different country—let alone to a boarding school where the kids were super close—was the source of many tears and a little bitterness at the time.
But seeing members of my class again makes me thankful I was part of the 19 of us that graduated from that small school, that I had such a unique secondary experience—and that I am here, 10 years later, to reflect on and be grateful for it.
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