Why go to a class reunion?December 11th, 2019
The answer to that question is: Because they are fun.
I occasionally hear people remark, “I will not go to a class reunion.” And sometimes it is for legitimate health reasons. But more often it is for some indefinable sense that it “would not be fun” or that “I would not be accepted.” I try to convince people that those assumptions are entirely wrong.
Reunions actually get more fun as the years pass. At the early reunions, say those before the twentieth reunion, some of us felt a bit tense, perhaps a bit competitive, or defensive. Each of us wanted to show ourselves in the best possible light.
But by the twenty-fifth and thirtieth reunions and beyond, all those insecurities have faded away. We can sit down with anyone in the room and feel welcome. The conversation that ensues is always fascinating (and is always prefaced by the self-deprecating statement “I really haven’t done that much…”). But, as we talk we find we have all done a great many interesting things. We come away amazed by the endless variety of life experiences our classmates have enjoyed.
All this sounds like we always have very deep and serious conversations, but that’s not the case. The tone of reunions I have attended is light-hearted. None of us takes ourselves very seriously anymore, so the interactions are casual, the conversation is friendly, and there’s lots of laughter. We leave our reunions with a glow of nostalgia over our shared past, a realization of how interesting our classmates are, and a reinvigorated sense of the joy of life.
Storytelling at reunions often calls to mind nearly-forgotten people and incidents from long ago — and we smile thinking about those days. The only sadness we experience is reminiscing about classmates who have passed away.
In our daily lives we seldom take the time to think much about all the things we’ve done, the people we’ve known, our accomplishments and our setbacks. Reunions allow this reflection. They present a chance to reacquaint ourselves with people we once knew, acquaint ourselves with people we never knew, and in a certain sense, become better acquainted with ourselves.
The years pass by quickly — if you haven’t attended a class reunion, think about doing so before it is too late. They really are fun. A blast from the past — in the best possible sense.
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