Your High School Reunion – Part 2: I’m baaaack. Now what?

Your High School Reunion – Part 2: I’m baaaack. Now what?

Your High School Reunion - Part 2: i'm baaack. Now what? | organizedCHAOSonline

So you’re going. Good for you! In Part 1 of our Reunion series, “Going To Your High School Reunion – Part 1: Pros and Cons. How to Prepare”, we covered everything you’d need to make a decision and what to do before you get there. Now let’s look at what to do once you’re there. Confidence is the most important thing you’ll need when you walk through those doors. Do you feel comfortable? Are you there for the right reasons? Are you truly interested in getting reacquainted with your old classmates? Cool. Then let’s get this party started!

Your High School Reunion - Part 2: i'm baaack. Now what? | organizedCHAOSonline

What To Bring

  1. Bring your yearbook and any pictures you have from back in the day.
  2. Look at your yearbook before you go, then bring it with you.
  3. Bring your camera or your phone to take pictures.
  4. Recruit a friend to go with you if you’re nervous about walking in alone.

What To Do

  1. Wear your name tag.
  2. Smile. It helps the nerves.
  3. Talk to people you didn’t know well, not just the ones you used to hang out with.
  4. Talk to someone standing alone.
  5. Listen more, talk less.
  6. Partner up with somebody and mingle together.
  7. Admit to not remembering someone.
  8. Take pictures.
  9. Relate the memory of a positive story of someone you’re speaking with.
  10. Let go of past arguments, but do apologize.
  11. Remember that people age differently. Don’t judge.
  12. Accept that some people will never change.

Your High School Reunion - Part 2: i'm baaack. Now what? | organizedCHAOSonlineWhat NOT To Do

  1. Don’t go in with a grudge or to seek revenge.
  2. Avoid conflict – avoid controversial subjects like religion, politics, or personal sensitive subjects.
  3. Don’t bring up the obvious, i.e. fat, bald, with someone other than their husband/wife.
  4. Don’t drink too much.
  5. Don’t just sit at a table. Roam around and mingle.
  6. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Be true to yourself.
  7. Don’t expect your friendships to take up right where they left off.
  8. Don’t count on romance.
  9. Don’t brag, lie, assume or say stupid things.
  10. Don’t blame old classmates for not keeping in touch.
  11. Don’t tell embarassing stories about your classmates to other classmates.
  12. Don’t revert back to your old self.

How To Start Conversations

  1. Just introduce yourself and don’t try to be witty or clever. People seem to respond to someone who seems genuinely sincere, rather than someone who is obviously trying to impress them.
  2. Smile, shake hands or hug, and immediately put the focus on that person. Lead with something like “I heard you were a runner”, and let them tell you about themselves. Continue to ask them questions. The ice will have been broken and the conversation should progress easily. Pay attention to the tone of their responses, though. Most people like to talk about themselves, but some don’t. If they give short answers and act uncomfortable, move to another less personal, more general topic.
  3. Always follow up a yes or no question with a statement or another question if you’d like to continue talking to a person.
  4. Start a conversation by complimenting the person, ie. “I love your hair!” “You look great!” “You haven’t aged a day!”
  5. If you’ve been friendly and respectful and the conversation still isn’t going anywhere, politely excuse yourself and move on. You’ve done all you can, and maybe the person just doesn’t want to talk to you. Don’t take it personally.
  6. Remember to connect with the person and not their accomplishments. Keep that in mind as you talk with them. Learn what has happened over the years to make them who they are today.

What To Do When You Don’t Remember Someone’s Name

It’s always uncomfortable when you don’t remember someone’s name because it conveys to them that they weren’t important enough for you to have remembered them. (Did you study your yearbook before you came as suggested?) If someone isn’t wearing a nametag and for the life of you, you can’t place them, here are some options…

  1. Be honest and say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t remember your name”.
  2. Here’s a less honest approach. Say “I’m sorry, but I don’t remember your name”. They’ll probably tell you their first name. You then smile warmly and say, “Oh no, I meant your last name”.
  3. Keep making small talk until someone joins you and hope to God they throw their arms around the person and spit out their name when telling them how good it is to see them again.
  4. Politely excuse yourself for a minute and go ask one of the friends you do know to tell you.

Your High School Reunion - Part 2: i'm baaack. Now what? | organizedCHAOSonline

How To Respond To Rude Questions

What if you get stuck talking to someone and discover they haven’t changed much from high school. They’re nice enough, but they’re asking you rude or personal questions. Here are some responses…

“I make it a rule not to discuss that subject”

“Seriously? Did you really just ask me that?”

“Whoa! I’m not touching that one! Let’s talk about something else.”

“I’m sorry, what do you ask me?” (If you look incredulous enough, they probably won’t repeat it).

If they ask if you’ve gained (or lost) weight… “I’m feeling great! How are you doing?”

Your High School Reunion - Part 2: i'm baaack. Now what? | organizedCHAOSonline

What To Do if the Asses in High School are still Asses

The clique of girls who made fun of you in biology class have reunited and reverted back to their old selves… The guy you wouldn’t go out with back in the day wants an explanation why you didn’t find him amazing… the girl who got dumped because her boyfriend wanted to start dating you has come to finally rip you a new one…

  • Pretend they’re not there and avoid them. It’s okay. You’re an adult now and have choices. You don’t owe them anything.
  • Treat them as you would a stranger. Be polite, speak briefly, then move on.
  • If they try to rehash an old grievance or bitch they still have with you, just shake your head, smile and walk away.
  • If you’re not enjoying yourself, remember…You can leave any time you want. It’s your choice to be there or not be there.

What To Do Before You Leave

  • Acknowledge and thank the reunion committee for all their hard work.
  • Exchange contact information with those you’d like to stay in touch with.

What To Do After You Get Back Home

  • Follow up by email or a note with the people with whom you’ve reconnected, not just on Facebook.
  • Stay true to your word by putting forth the effort to stay in touch with those you’ve promised you would.
  • Post any pictures you took, and share them with those who attended. Those who weren’t able to attend will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

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Going to Your High School Reunion? – Part 1: Pros and Cons. How to Prepare

Going to Your High School Reunion? – Part 1: Pros and Cons. How to Prepare

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…

  1. To renew old friendships
  2. The possibility of seeing a particular person
  3. To reminisce and relive the feeling of High School
  4. To see how everyone has changed
  5. To show people how they have changed
  6. To return to familiar people and places, and revisit the place they grew up
  7. To get to know the people they didn’t hang out with in High School

Not Wanting to Go…

  1. Wasn’t popular in High School and didn’t fit in
  2. Can’t afford the travel costs to attend
  3. Job or family commitments conflict with the date
  4. Didn’t like classmates, or still holds a grudge. Doesn’t want to see someone who might attend
  5. Concerned their friends won’t attend
  6. Don’t feel good about their present life or what they’ve accomplished
  7. 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…

Going to Your High School Reunion? - Part 1: Pros and Cons. How to Prepare


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

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