After attending my 10th high school reunion back in 2004, I knew that I was not going to miss my 20th this year. I’d also attended my 5yr college reunion in 2003 and was royally disappointed. I think the biggest difference between a college reunion and a high school reunion for me, outside of the sheer size of the class, was that with high school, I was more inclined to have grown up with my peers, for many many years, and we were more positioned to have friends within our own class. In college, the folks were strangers before getting to college and there was a strong likelihood of having friends in the years before and after us based on our extracurricular interests.
What impressed me most ten years ago and didn’t disappoint once more is that people were generally doing so well and genuinely interested in seeing and reconnecting with others in our class. It made me feel really good about myself and my class, that so many were successful and happy – or maybe that was just those who attended! Regardless, we had to be proud.
What was most significantly different about this reunion from the last was that this one took place in the era of Facebook. Ten years ago, folks had legitimately been out of contact with their peers for many years and so they spent a lot of their reuniting, literally reuniting. Conversations were dominated by catching up on what the years since high school had brought them and had meant to them and left little room for much else. This time around, although there may not have been consistent contact since the last reunion, Facebook and other social media outlets have allowed folks a regular pathway into each other’s lives so that, depending on the interest level, one could theoretically be very well versed and caught up into the lives of their peers. While there’s an obvious downside that, maybe even an uincentive to attend the reunion, the upside to that for those who did attend, is that the conversation at the reunion could advance to that next level – beyond simply catching up on how their demographics or status has changed.
I took an active role in my reunion this year and I’m glad I did. I still very much value these relationships, now decades old, and I hope that there’s momentum now moving forward as so many of us have families. I’m looking forward to Family Fun Day for our 25th reunion in 2019!