Millions of people attend high school reunions every year. Some have big expectations, while others just hope they’ll have someone to talk to. We’ve heard and read lots of comments over the years on people’s takeaways after the big event. While some observations are well-known (e.g. dates will get bored if they don’t know anyone), others are more unexpected:
• People can change quite a bit, sometimes shattering your initial impressions. That surly guy who sat across from you in U.S. history has turned into a very approachable and charming adult.
• Attending a reunion is sometimes easier if you weren’t at the top of the high school social pyramid. There can be a self-imposed pressure to remain as cool/popular/gorgeous as you once were. Those who flew under the radar have nothing to lose and nothing to prove.
• Some of the best conversations can be with people you never hung out with. You may have been in completely different social groups, but now that you’re both grown up, you can carry on a very enjoyable chat. (This can seem really weird to that high school self who still exists inside of you.)
• Life is fragile. While we know this, we don’t think about it a lot. Coming to a reunion and remembering the class members who are no longer with you can bring that reality back to the surface in a big way.
• You are always your own harshest critic. You were in school (you were apparently the only one who thought you were hopelessly dorky and a terrible dresser). And you are now (nobody cares if you don’t have a high-paying career – they’re just glad to see you). Relax, and accept yourself.
• Being in the same graduating class really does bond people together. Even if you have nothing else in common, you’ll always have that shared experience that connects you as members of the same club. And the longer it’s been, the tighter that bond seems to get.
• We still manage to see fellow class members the way they used to be. While they may look fifty to other people, we’ve got filters through which we will always be able to see them as their high school selves.
Check out our other reunion-related blog posts here.
Have you attended a class reunion? What insights would you add to this list?