Create a Time Capsule at Your Class Reunion

Your high school reunion is a golden opportunity for reminiscing about your teen years and all that you and your schoolmates have gone through. If you’ve got one coming up, we’d like to suggest a fun group activity for marking this special occasion and the years you spent together back in the day: Create a time capsule.

For anyone who might be unfamiliar with the term, a time capsule is a collection of items chosen to commemorate a moment in history. This collection is stored in a safe place for opening at a predetermined date in the future. In some cases, the contents aren’t seen for decades (say, 50 or 100 years or even longer). Other time capsules are intended for opening after a much shorter span of time.

This project is great for recent graduating classes as well as those gathering for later milestone reunions. You can choose to have the capsule reopened by your class at another reunion or by others from your school or community at a later date. It’s up to you.

Some suggestions for things to share/donate:

  • High school memories and anecdotes, including what you liked best or remember most
  • Personal photos as well as photos of your school and its surrounding community
  • Notes or letters to your future selves, describing thoughts and feelings about graduating, life goals, future predictions, etc.
  • What you would tell your 18-year-old self if you could go back
  • Most important thing learned in high school
  • Lists of favorites (movies, songs, foods, books, local places, etc.)
  • Personal artwork or creative writing
  • News articles and political cartoons
  • Items of personal or cultural significance (books, magazines, tickets, popular toys, etc.)

Your time capsule can either be a container with tangible objects or a virtual capsule stored online somewhere. Keep in mind that a digital capsule is a lot easier to put together if you can’t have everyone in one place. However, a physical collection means you don’t have to worry about technology compatibility issues (and gives you more leeway as to what can be included). For the latter, we recommend an airtight stainless-steel container. Remember to include an “open by” date somewhere on the outside. And add a letter from your class to those in the future, explaining the significance of what you’ve put together.

Be sure to communicate with your class about this project as far in advance as possible. This will allow people plenty of time to figure out what they want to contribute. You may want to gather written sentiments ahead of time and put them together in one large document.

Enlist several members of your class to keep a record of where your time capsule is stored (including GPS coordinates for a physical container). A secure indoor location is recommended (bonus points if you can place it somewhere inside your high school).

One last suggestion: Include as much variety as possible. The more fun you have putting your collection together, the more fun it’s likely to be for whoever gets to open it!