Class of 2003 - Ten Years Later
In 2002, John Mayer came busting onto the music scene with his very successful album Room for Squares, especially with the hit song "No Such Thing."
In it, John sings about there being no such thing as the real world, and says he can't wait until his 10 year reunion to show his classmates that there's something beyond doing what is expected of you - a variety of options instead of a cookie-cutter future. There are a variety of paths that life can take us.
I was a high school junior when John Mayer came onto my musical radar, and at the time I had difficulty imagining where my life would take me in 10 years. My own 10 year reunion seemed lightyears away, and yet this past weekend I celebrated that very thing with my fellow 2003 graduates.
I started going to Cranbrook Kingswood as a sixth grader, and from that point on I knew it was a special place, and I was beyond fortunate to be a student there. Much of the time it feels like we might lament that we didn't realize how wonderful something was as we experienced it, and instead look back on the experience with regret that we didn't seize every moment. But I don't feel that way about my time at Cranbrook - it was always very clear, from walking in the Oriental Gardens near Kingswood Lake to admiring the countless fountains and statues to hearing student folklore about the tunnels running beneath the school, I knew what I was experiencing was beyond special.
And definitely not the normal high school experience.
Which is what makes our reunions also not very typical. Instead of meeting up at a local hall or restaurant for an evening, our reunions are a weekend-long series of events, with plenty of opportunities to meet up with old friends and classmates, walk around the campus, reminisce, take it all in.
With less than 200 of us in the 2003 class, there's a shared connection and experience that bonds us for better or worse. It's something that even Facebook cannot help us fully cultivate, and that's why reunion is such a wonderful opportunity to reconnect - face to face, not Facebook to Facebook.
With the social media site taking away about 90% of the surprise factor that used to be the fodder for reunions, there is still a sense of anticipation, excitement, and curiosity that came with seeing people I haven't seen in 10 years.
One of the people I think I am most surprised by is myself. Had I made predictions for myself and my friends 10 years ago, I definitely would not have anticipated that I'd be attending my 10 year reunion with my husband of almost four years and my three-month-old daughter. But maybe that's what makes life so interesting and unpredictable. And who knows where we will all be at our 15 year reunion, or the 20 year reunion?
Life has changed so much since high school, but it really took a milestone like our 10 year reunion to make me sit back and take note of the changes in my life, and the many changes in others' lives.
Our school's mottos are "Aim High" (Cranbrook) and "Go Forth to Serve" (Kingswood), and after this weekend I'm really happy to report that the class of 2003 is doing just those very things.