Let's premise by saying this post was originally to read "10 Things You Must Do at a Class Reunion." Well—that didn't last long when it came down to writing it. I could only think of two; mingling and drinking. In all reality, that's pretty much what it was. So I decided to dig a little deeper into memory lane and all of a sudden it was obvious. It should read "10 Reasons Why You Should Attend Your Class Reunion." I could only come up with seven, cut me some slack;)
I will also say that I realize full and well that sometimes you simply can't attend your class reunion, whether it be a scheduling conflict, having a baby, health issues, other events, etc. So please don't take offense. I'm simply going to say why you should consider it if you've never been.
Oh, all the beloved memories, non-judgmental chatter, considerate compliments, and pure excitement of the class reunion. Wait, what? That isn't the generalization of a class reunion?;
Typically, no. I would say 99% of the people I speak with dread their class reunions. They either go to get it over with or they simply don't go at all. That seemed to be the general consensus for my high school reunion this summer. Nearly everyone I spoke with and asked if they were going to the reunion said either no or said "I don't know, doesn't sound like many are going?" After going to my college reunion last fall—I felt the need to attend. Let me tell you why.
Aside from the negative perceptions of the class reunion, I'm hear to tell you why you SHOULD go. I've only been to two of my class reunions so I've been on both sides of the spectrum. Yes—I will give up my age by saying I've been to one 10-year college reunion and one 15-year high school reunion. Before last year, I had no desire to go. Now that I've been to one of each, I realize the importance of the event and why I hope to attend future reunions.
Here are seven reasons why.
- Face-to-face time with people you rarely see.
We are all on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, right? Maybe all three for that matter. You think you're being kept up-to-date on their lives, and to some extent you are, but it's not quite like seeing them in person. Time to find out what they've been up to, not just what their baby looks like. Finally know if they're happy and not assume it because all of their Facebook pics show them as happy as a lark. We all know that's not true. You post your best side forward. You have a connection with this person in the sense that they graduated with you. You can determine their happiness based on nonverbal communication. You can feel it. That's something you can't see on Facebook.
- Celebration without the kiddos!
I'm positive that every single person I saw at the reunion was having a BLAST! I really think part of that is seeing long-lost friends and part of that is, "The kids are at grandma's tonight! Party time!";) Everyone loves their family and friends. The people they see on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. What about those friends you haven't seen in 15 years? It's actually really fun to catch up, and it's a wonderful excuse to leave familiarity behind!
- It's a confidence-builder.
Believe it or not, reunions actually don't seem like strangers pointing fingers and judging from across the room. I know that was how it sometimes (always) worked in high school, but we've all grown up. There is no popularity any more and everyone is on the same wavelength. Tommy who was class president, on the A honor role, and loved by everyone has had to leap into the big bad world with the rest of us. That usually means starting at the bottom and working your way up. If you have the guts to show up to your class reunion and mingle with people other than your clique of friends, I promise you'll be happier and more confident in the end. You'll see that everyone is exactly as you are.
- Sharing school and city camaraderie.
Do you know what camaraderie means? It means "the feeling of closeness and friendship that exists between companions." (Webster definition) It's the truth. Maybe that person wasn't your best friend in high school or maybe they were but moved away and you really have nothing to do with each other anymore. That bond will come back when you start talking about old times. You've all spent up to 4 or 13 years together. That bond can never be taken away. It's fun to talk about what happened back then and how the school and city look now. It's insane to think time has flown that fast. There's nothing quite like the feeling of home. That's a feeling that takes years to get back to in a new city, or perhaps you never feel that way. You may have spent years saying, "I can't wait to leave this town." Once you leave, you realize just how special that home was.
- Fun pictures for all to see!
Our generation has become obsessed with pictures on Facebook and Instagram. How fun is it to get together with old friends and post pictures of the good times?! I spent my entire Sunday looking at all of the pictures people posted on Facebook! It's incredibly easy to share pictures now. I've never seen so many selfies taken at one party!
- Notches on your bucket list.
Our time here is actually pretty short. If you think about it: IF you went to every 5th year reunion and you lived to be 83 years old, which many of us won't, you will have only gone to 13 reunions. That's not many. Time flies, and we need to cherish these moments before they're gone. I'm told in the end you regret the things you didn't do more than the things you did do. So having fun with old friends should be on everyone's bucket list!
- A reason to get together with your close group of "old" friends.
You can also use this time as an excuse to link up with your crew from high school. The ones you were with every night from 3PM to 9PM. The ones you cried to about losing your first love or lack thereof. The ones who were with you in the stands shaking their keys in anticipation of the opening kick of the first football game of the season. The ones you snuck off to the park with during lunch time and had your first cigarette with. The ones you sat around the campfire with on a beautiful summer's eve while listening to "Fishing in the Dark" by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The ones who saw you grow into the person you are today. The people who were with you during your core years. You've grown a lot since then—as a person. You and your old friends are more than likely all scattered across the nation or globe by now and have your own families and lives, but you'll never forget those people. Time to step back in time and remember what happened. Time to show respect and appreciation for the years you've completed and the people you met along the way.
"Memories. A way of holding onto the things you Love, the things you Are, & the things you never want to Lose." (From http://masspictures.net/memoryquotes/)
Dedicated to the Decorah High School Class of 1999.
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