Going to Your High School Reunion? – Part 1: Pros and Cons. How to Prepare
With so many of us reconnecting with old friends on Facebook, some people may feel attending their High School reunion isn’t necessary. If you’ve ‘Friended’ old high school friends, you already know what they look like now, what their marital status is, what they do for a living, where they live, places they’ve been, the ages of their kids, and what friends you still have in common. Hell, you can scan their updates and conversations and pretty much know everything you’d probably ask them if you saw them at a reunion. So what would be the reason for a face-to-face?
On the other hand, the above reasons are exactly why others want to attend their class reunions. Maybe you’ve reconnected with old classmates that you didn’t hang out with in high school, and because of what you’ve learned about them, you’d like the opportunity to really get to know them and possibly start a friendship with them that you missed out in in High School.
I did a little research and learned that attendance to a High School reunion averages between 20% and 30%. Attendance percentages over that amount is considered to be a hugely successful event. So, what are the reasons people give for wanting or not wanting to attend their High School reunion?
Wanting to Go…
- To renew old friendships
- The possibility of seeing a particular person
- To reminisce and relive the feeling of High School
- To see how everyone has changed
- To show people how they have changed
- To return to familiar people and places, and revisit the place they grew up
- To get to know the people they didn’t hang out with in High School
Not Wanting to Go…
- Wasn’t popular in High School and didn’t fit in
- Can’t afford the travel costs to attend
- Job or family commitments conflict with the date
- Didn’t like classmates, or still holds a grudge. Doesn’t want to see someone who might attend
- Concerned their friends won’t attend
- Don’t feel good about their present life or what they’ve accomplished
- Afraid of not being recognized or remembered
If you have decided against going, don’t feel guilty. You’re an adult, you’ve moved on with your life, and it’s your choice. But do RSVP your regrets. It’s only polite.
For those of you who have decided to go, you might want to do a little prepping. Here are some suggestions and tips…
1. RSVP TO THE REUNION INVITATION
Let the reunion committee know you’ll be there. If there’s a caterer involved, they’ll need to give them an estimated head count. There may also be nametags, decorations and events being planned and your response could save them some work.
2. MAKE YOUR TRAVEL PLANS
Don’t wait until the last minute. For a lot of people there’s a certain amount of anxiety related to attending their reunion. Don’t add to it by stressing out because you aren’t able to get a flight at the last minute.
3. TAKE STEPS TO LOOK YOUR BEST
Although the whole idea of a reunion is to get reacquainted with old friends, you still want to present your best self to them. If you’ve been meaning to drop a few pounds, get started on that diet. Go get a manicure. Make that appointment for your teeth cleaning that you’ve been putting off. Try out a more modern hairstyle or color. Hit the gym.
4. CHECK THE DRESS CODE
Unless the invitation states otherwise, the dress is probably casual. Use your judgement. Even if clothes aren’t important to you, at least make an effort to choose something that looks good on you. If you’re not sure, get someone’s opinion. Too sexy could look slutty. Too casual could look sloppy. Casual doesn’t mean sweats. An upcoming reunion is a great excuse to modernize your wardrobe. Throw open those closet doors. How long has it been since you’ve updated your clothes? Are you still living in the 80′s? Choose your shoes early – you’ll be spending a lot of time on your feet and possibly dancing…not a good time to break in a pair of new shoes. Be happy with what you’re planning to wear, and make sure you’re comfortable in it. Feeling comfortable and knowing you look your best gives you confidence and can help calm any nerves you may have.
5. CALL IN THE TROOPS
Most people don’t like to walk into a room alone. If it doesn’t bother you…yay you! For those of you who get butterflies thinking about busting through those reunion doors by yourself, get a hold of one of the High School friends you’ve kept in touch with and see if you can go together. It may be a good idea to arrange to meet them beforehand someplace and follow them to the reunion so you’ll each have your own car in case you want to leave at different times.
6. GET OUT YOUR YEARBOOK
It’s always a little uncomfortable when someone remembers you, but you don’t have a clue who they are. Dust off that yearbook and spend a little time reacquainting yourself with your old friends names and faces. You may not recognize a lot of the people you see at the reunion, but chances are that when you hear their name, it will at least sound vaguely familiar and give your memory a little nudge.
7. RECONNECT ON FACEBOOK
Don’t do this too far ahead of the reunion date. Part of the fun of seeing old classmates is finding out what experiences they’ve had and what their lives look like now. Not knowing what to talk about is one thing people fear when reconnecting with someone they haven’t seen in years, especially if you weren’t particularly close back then. If you’ve spent hours on your classmates Facebook pages, and read everything they’ve shared, you may not have any questions or be curious enough to learn more about them.
So…have you made your decision yet? We’d love you to share your reasons for going or not going to your upcoming reunion or why you did or didn’t go to one in the past. If you went, did you have fun? If you didn’t go, do you wish you had?
Watch for Part 2 of “Going To Your High School Reunion”. We’ll talk about Do’s and Don’ts, and Tips and Tricks!