Class reunions…in particular, the HIGH SCHOOL class reunion, can create many mixed feelings…fond memories and old insecurities…the opportunity to re-connect and re-establish friendships, and the potential to re-open old wounds. I just returned from my 30th reunion and had a few observations along the way…
History is history. The “stuff” that happened when we were growing up is just that – stuff. Hopefully, we all learned from it, but its over and we can’t change the past. Most people I saw at the reunion were living in the moment, enjoying the re-connection, talking about the here and now and even what the future holds.
Perception doesn’t always match reality. Attending a reunion with an open mind and a willingness to engage with a range of classmates might create a positive experience. (It might not, but that’s another blog post!) While some of the old “cliques” stayed together, I also observed people talking to classmates they didn’t really know or spend time with in high school, often sharing those big and small life concerns that can keep us all up at night.
Risks are often worth it. I’m sure some of my classmates came with some apprehension about what they would experience. I know many didn’t come at all for that very reason. I’m hoping that most of those that attended felt it was worth it, even if they only reconnected with one person from a shared past. I know I did!
Ultimately, we are all human. We all have challenges, joy, sadness… Engaging with other people, particularly those who share some of our social-historical DNA, can remind us of that fact. Reunions allow us to revisit specific chapters of our lives, see whether our memories are accurate or need some revision, then come back to our present lives with new information about ourselves. Taking time for introspection is never wasteful.
What are your thoughts on reunions? Love them or hate them, leave a comment below.