We graduated from our beloved Alma Mater in May of 1964. We were all so glad for that long-anticipated event to arrive. After graduation, we quickly scattered in our own directions without thinking of the fact that we were seeing some of our classmates for the very last time. We had no way of knowing that in a few short years some of our classmates would be gone or that by the 50th anniversary of our graduation, over one third of our class members would no longer be living. There is a reason only older people attend class reunions. They know.
Recent graduates are still in college chasing their dreams or serving in the military or trying to get established in some low-paying job and can't afford the trip back home. But mostly they don't come to reunions because they haven't figured it out yet.
They think they have forever. They think of the rest of us as old people, like antiques from another time. People from a previous civilization that has no bearing on the world they live in today. They have no idea that the time between now and their fiftieth will seem like weeks. They will still be looking upon themselves as the younger generation when suddenly their twentieth reunion will be announced on the latest social media outlet. That's the moment when they start to grow up.
Today is the first day of class. This school does not let out for the rest of their lives. As I see it, here are the lessons they begin to learn and the lessons that were firmly entrenched by the time of our fiftieth reunion.