Last weekend I attended and helped plan my 20th high school reunion. The event was held out in the east bay close to my hometown. I originally had not planned on attending the event this time around. I had a negative and positive experience at my 10 year reunion. The sucky part of being the president of your senior class, you are expected to be the lead on future reunions. Our fearless leader even carted around for almost 20 years, all of the left over senior t-shirts from 1993. She did a great job with our 10 year and was looking for others to help out with the 20th. I decided to help and I am glad I did. It allowed me to reconnect with a lot of old friends.
Another classmate and myself stepped up and helped her take the lead. The biggest challenge was locating all 368 classmates. About half of them were already on Facebook, making it easy to communicate. Planning and searching for classmates took almost 2 years. We ended up finding another quarter after a long search but we are still on the hunt for about 80 classmates. This event was pretty easy to plan thanks in part to several people stepping up to help with other details of the event. The end result was pretty amazing. Our 10 year seemed to be more cliquey, 10 more years under our belts really opened everyone up. The reunion atmosphere was completely different with everyone crossing over the divides and really reminiscing about the old days.
Two of the best parts of the evening were seeing several old girlfriends of mine and catching up. Sadly I didn’t have a lot of free time because I was running the raffle. The other great part of the evening was catching up with old elementary classmates. Several of them I had not seen in many years, 20 to be exact. We realized that we all wished we had more time to sit down as old elementary classmates and catch up. A lot of our parents are still in touch with on another. Being in school together for 10-13 years really leaves an imprint on your life. We decided that we would instead plan a mini reunion in a couple of years so we could all come together again.
What’s amazing is how bringing so many people together can really light up a persons life. For some it’s a positive experience and for others not so positive. My experience at the 10 year was marred by an old bully who thankfully didn’t attend the 20 year. I had a little to much to drink the first time, the second time around I kept it simple with just two glasses of wine. What I realized is my first experience at a reunion versus the second one was the lack of anxiety. First timers have a lot of anxiety about what expect, I had that! The second time around it’s a lot easier, time does heal most wounds. Will I attend the 30 year, most certainly but I hope to see more of those missing faces.
My advice to those who are planning a reunion of their own. Less formal is the way to go and a longer event makes for comfort. Last weekends event was 5 hours long, in the end most people wanted at least 7 hours. We did a picnic day after the dinner, it was a mild success and it did give some alums a second option.