I have a bit of advice for the Peabody-Burns High School class of 2016. Many people will have advice for them in the next month. Most will tell them to aim high, work hard, enjoy life, and reach lofty goals. My opinion is a little more mundane, but if they follow it, they will get great enjoyment from it when they are my age — and that will happen in no time at all, believe me.
My advice is to put the best go-getter in the class in charge of reunions. Do it this week and insist that he or she plan one at least every 10 years. In addition, each of you must promise that Class of 2016 reunion guru that you will faithfully attend each reunion. Really, they are so much fun and the older you get, the more you will enjoy them and enjoy getting together again.
I went to my 50-year reunion in August. It was the first time I had been back since the 20-year reunion and although there were gatherings and events scheduled for two days, there was not nearly enough time to see or visit everyone with whom I had hoped to connect. However, it was the best turn-out ever and even now, nine months later, I still am enjoying communications and remembrances with many of them.
I wish I had gone back for some of the reunions held during the 30-year span between my 20th and 50th. You do not have to be the most successful or the most “anything else” to attend. Just go and enjoy it.
Take a look at your classmates Sunday afternoon and realize that you will always be the only members of the PBHS Class of 2016. No one can join you and you cannot be removed from your class. Many of you have been together since kindergarten and some are newcomers, but you all have shared membership in the PBHS class of 2016.
Come back and see us. Make that class reunion a special event every five or 10 years and make the effort to attend. Whether it is Memorial Day or July Fourth in Peabody or a week in Belize in February, do what you need to do to be there. You have spent a lot of time with your classmates and some of them have had an impact and influence on your lives. You always will be tied to them and seeing them every five or 10 years can be special for all of you.
Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. Move ahead with your lives and do your best. However, remember the days you spent here and your classmates in the PBHS Class of 2016. There will never be another group quite like you.