Is it truly a milestone when you’re invited to your 25th high school reunion? I’m not convinced it’s a milestone, but more of a celebration of life amongst my peers – many of whom I’ve grown up with since the second grade. Obviously, I felt different compared to my 10 year reunion and I can clearly state why. I was at a different stage in my life – newly engaged and a few years out of graduate school. At the 25th year high school reunion, we are in our early 40s, have been working for a couple decades, and (lightly or heavily) seasoned in marriage, family, and children. Here are a few things that I took away from the evening that I believe are true across the board whether you’re attending a reunion or not:
- Be proud of yourself, but tone down the bragging. It seemed like most of my classmates were comfortable sharing what was going on in their lives. Whether a professional or stay at home mom or a combination, it didn’t matter. Their eyes lit up when they were talking about their children and/or their satisfaction with their career choice. It made for such a great evening with no “one upping” each other.
- Enjoy talking about the past, but be optimistic that the best is still to come. There were a couple of stories about high school, but they were good memories that made the group smile. Memories are great, but if you are stuck in high school, it limits the possibilities of what the world can offer.
- Be genuinely happy for your friends, acquaintances, peers, classmates, family versus compare yourself to them or be jealous. It was a genuine pleasure to listen to what my high school friends were currently doing. It was inspiring to hear what made them happy, and seriously, I felt everyone was SO nice.
- Eliminate the variables so you have the confidence to talk to whomever you interact with. Since you haven’t seen some people in awhile, of course, you want to look good. I would think that new haircuts, new makeup, and new fashion will make you self conscious. I recommend wearing that outfit that matches the venue and that you feel great in.
- Keep in touch with everyone to keep updated on their lives. Facebook has been an excellent tool to keep in touch. A quick flip through your news feed (or if you’re lucky like I am, you have an amazing coordinator who sets up a reunion page), and you have some great prep conversation when you get to the venue. Quick tip: just reveal baseline information so you don’t cross the line of Facebook stalking.
In addition, I connected with a few more friends after the reunion which made the evening even more worth while. Although I can’t recall how much I enjoyed high school, I truly appreciated an evening with no cliques, no obsession about popularity, and no gossiping.