By: Shannon Shull
Ok, so most folks hear the words “high school reunion” and cringe. Especially when you graduated from high school TWENTY years ago like I did. It is incredibly hard to admit the number of years it has been since I graduated from high school. I mean, I’m still young daggomit!! I still think of my Mom as being in her 30’s for crying out loud. I certainly cannot be in my late 30’s. It’s just not possible. Most people would avoid their high school reunions like the plague, but l’il ole outgoing Shannon here just couldn’t say no when I was asked to be on the planning committee for my 20th high school reunion.
At times I thought… am I really doing this? Don’t I want my old classmates to wonder and still think of me in my high school adolescence? Well sure, but the truth is, I stayed friends with too many of them for there to be any real chance at that. Thanks to Facebook and small communities, word gets out – how many kids you have, whether you gained weight or not, what you’re up to. But I have to say, there is an advantage to good ole Facebook. I know that everyone on our high school reunion planning committee would agree that without Facebook, we would’ve never reached as many of our classmates as we did! At our five-year reunion, for which I also sat on the planning committee, we had to get addresses from the school and mail out formal invitations the old fashioned way. Heck, email wasn’t even around yet in the early 90s, was it? In today’s day and age, no paper or stamps is needed, we reached the majority of our classmates via technology.
Anyway, back to the point – the awkwardness of a high school reunion after twenty whole years of college and living in the real world. I can’t help but think of the Duck Dynasty episode in which that handsome bearded Jase Robertson states, “If I haven’t contacted you in the last twenty years, there’s probably a reason.” Good point for sure. BUT….I have to admit, that’s not necessarily the right attitude to have.
At my own reunion, although my face wanted to reminisce about adolescence and decided to break out just in time for the reunion, I still had a wonderful time! And it was mostly with those unexpected friends from high school that I haven’t seen or talked to since my senior year. That reunion brought together all sorts of folks who, had it not been for the reunion, probably never would have gotten the opportunity to see one another and connect. Needless to say, we reminisced and danced the night away. The planning committee was extremely pleased to have produced a very successful reunion. A lot of my classmates had such fun that the week following the reunion we were already getting requests to come up with an excuse to get together again sooner rather than waiting another five or ten years!
So if you ever catch yourself thinking or saying the following statements concerning high school reunions…
“Odds are, if I want you in my life, you’re already there.”
“Even if I did like you, it’s not enough to be with those I don’t.”
“A high school reunion? Yea, um I’m not dancing/listening to late 80s/early 90s music.”
… tell yourself to GET OVER IT! Give it a chance, you may just make a new friend out of that nerd, prep, jock or punk classmate from the old high school days! Not to mention you may be pleasantly surprised and have the time of your life. 😉