Why You Should Really Go to a High School Reunion

Receiving an invitation to a high school reunion can be emotionally challenging, to say the least. Here’s proof that you’re getting old (and fast!), as well as a call to hang out with other aging people you may or may not have gotten along with when you were younger. You might be worried about what they’ll think of you, stressed out that you have to get home to participate, or – if you’re late after graduation and still hanging out with your hometown friends – you’re fed up with the idea.

But if you have avoided these reunions in the past, you should go for the next one. That’s why.

Reunions are not so scary

The 1997 classic known as “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion” made the class reunion look terrifying, but also trendy. Neither is entirely accurate, although you can certainly get dressed up if you want to flex a bit. Other than that, these things are pretty random, but you might still have some anxiety.

Think about it: I was voted in high school to be in charge of planning my class reunion in 10 years. It suited my personality at the time, as I was obsessed with success in extracurricular activities and was generally a pretentious, dark-nosed man. Nine or so years later, when it dawned on me that I needed to plan an event in my hometown, half a country away, I was unhappy; I lost the hypersensitivity that drove me as a teenager, at least when it came to schoolwork.

I say this because I want to demonstrate how much people change between high school and adulthood—even in the first decade. resentment at me for the fact that in my youth I frankly annoyed and maniacally torn. Likewise, anyone I thought was “angry” or “reserved” in high school turned out to be downright cute in their early 20s.

If you’re afraid, like Romy and Michelle, that the social divisions between jocks and nerds (or whatever factions existed at your school at the time you were in school) will somehow resurface at the reunion and you’ll be typical and segregated again try to take a step back and change your point of view. You have undoubtedly changed over the years, just like everyone else. This is a good chance to get to know them for who they are, and not who you remember from an era when you were all desperate to figure out who you would become.

“It’s definitely a concern and I think it’s for everyone; for the most popular person in the class, it’s as much of a problem as it is for someone who thinks no one remembers them,” said Varsity Reunions ‘ Cindy Clamp, who is president of the National Meeting Managers Association and believes she organized about 300 meetings. . “Time changes everything… It’s easy to say, ‘We started at 18 and that’s how I was then,’ but that’s not who you are. Now you are a completely different person than you were at 18, and the beauty is that everyone else is also completely different people.

You can show what you are capable of, but this is not a competition

On the opposite end of the pop culture reunion spectrum from Romy and Michelle is John Mayer’s 1999 hit “There’s No Such Thing”, which ends with his statement, “I just can’t wait to be 10 years old.” year of reunion / I’ll break down the double doors / and when I stand on this table in front of you / you’ll know what all this time was for. While Romy and Michel worried that they weren’t successful enough to surprise their classmates, Mayer was confident enough that he was successful enough to beat anyone who got in the way of him “[living] the dreams of prom kings”.

None of the scenarios reflect real life. When you’re standing in your old gym or outside a bar in your hometown, you won’t be in that kind of pissing competition. As soon as you drink beer and cuddle with old friends, your mind will stop focusing on cutthroat competition. It should be fun .

To anyone who is worried that their progress will not match the success of their former classmates, Clamp asks the question: “So what?”

She continued, “Everything – whatever you do in your life – is so individual and in line with who you are. Not all astronauts Not everyone is in the Supreme Court. People achieve success in their own way, and who can say that your success is less valuable than someone else’s?

Clamp also reiterated that “no one really cares about this” and that sort of talk “doesn’t come up very often at a reunion at all”. She has watched meetings of about 20,000 people over the past 20 years, so if competition was trending in these things, she would know.

You can communicate professionally

As mentioned, after graduation, you and your classmates did different things. Not only will it be interesting to hear what they’re up to, but you never know if there’s a way you can work together or use your adult skills to help each other.

It may seem strange to exchange business cards with the same person you had your first joint with, but it’s no more strange than drinking cheap champagne with a potential partner at a corporate party. Opportunities are everywhere, but knowing someone gives you an edge when it comes to working with or learning from them.

“People who may be looking for work or in between jobs can certainly have the opportunity to meet other classmates who can help them in their career,” Clamp said, but added, “There are so many different levels.” how people reunite at a reunion”, which brings us to…

You can do multiple reps

We all have regrets, and even if your four years in high school were your “glory days,” some of them are probably related to that time period. Maybe you wanted to talk to that single girl, thank a friend for getting you through a tough time, or apologize to someone you hurt but didn’t because you were busy going through one of the most confusing stages. development in life.

Here is your chance. Get to know someone in your class who you weren’t close to as a teenager. Offer a sincere apology to someone you have not been kind to. If teachers are involved in your reunion, be sure to thank them for what they have done for you. If you were a shy child, communicate. If you’ve been rowdy and rude, listen up. You now have years of experience as an adult and are a more evolved person than before, so why not show off that version of yourself and emulate something you’re not proud of?

So gratitude and remorse is great and all, but maybe you’re really here because you want to know if the meetings are conducive to meetings. According to Clamp, this is true: “A lot of the time, classmates reunite at a reunion in high school and relationships are built on that.”

Aside from professional or romantic connections, consider also that this is one of the rare opportunities you will have to connect with such a specific peer group. These people grew up in the same place as you and at the same time as you. You are all the same age, facing similar challenges that come with that age. Clamp said, “It’s really funny to see how people can befriend someone they may not have seen in 20 or 30 years, in a completely different way.”

Real life is better than social networks

Reunions may seem pointless now that social media gives us a glimpse into the lives of old acquaintances, but as you know, social media is not real life. Well, it’s kind of like these days, but it’s still worth meeting everyone face to face.

In real life, remembering, making amends, and having meaningful conversations is much easier than on Facebook or Instagram. Online, people share tidbits, but in person, they end up sharing a lot more mannerisms, attitudes, and a sense of openness.

This is a chance to reconnect with where you came from and with the people who shaped the early periods of your life. Your phone screen won’t show you how someone has changed or grown or make you laugh out loud at ridiculous old memories.

While Clamp acknowledges that “social media has been a game-changer for school reunions,” she argues that they simply can’t replicate the real world.

“People have really come back to seeing the value of being in a room with someone and being able to talk to someone, being able to hug a friend you haven’t seen in years, shake hands, hear someone laugh. to tell these stories,” she said. “There is no substitute for being in this room together and being able to celebrate together.”

If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that the high-tech version of human interaction lacks what makes this interaction so special. My reunion was supposed to be in 2020 but was pushed back to 2021 and while I was grateful for the extra year to plan, the best part of the event was getting to see all my old friends face to face. This is a unique opportunity that you should take advantage of at least once because you never know when we will be stuck in our homes again.

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