This past weekend, I attended my high school’s 10 year reunion, and – wait for it – I actually had fun.
Of course, not nearly everyone showed up, and to be completely honest, the days leading up to the event, I didn’t want to go. It’s not that I was nervous – I just didn’t feel like I had enough of an interest in putting on a face and making forced social contact with people I barely knew. Mind you, I was sick for literally 13 days and had a fever of 100.2 before leaving my apartment to go to the reunion. My face was white, I had gone 12 full days without working out, I hadn’t had an appetite in forever, and I didn’t have time to put into outfit planning because I had been glued to the couch, coughing up six lungs – but alas, I forced myself to go and I survived.
If you’re debating going to your own high school reunion, just remember that you are all grown ups now, and people are, like, actually kind of nice. Some even genuinely care how their former classmates are doing, which is just SO ADORABLE. Basically, it’s nice to hang out with people you share memories with and have things in common with, and guess what – a lot of your high school classmates classify as those types of people. Eek!
Here are 7 things I learned at my high school reunion. Hopefully I can convince you to attend yours!
1. Not everyone is going to go.
The 10 year reunion is NOT the 5 year reunion – people are older now and have lives. So whether it’s Thanksgiving weekend or another random weekend, people are going to be busy traveling for work, attending weddings, or partaking in other plans. Of course there’s the people who just have no fucking interest in anything having to do with high school, but they won’t be the only ones ditching the celebration. No matter what though, there will probably be a pretty good turn out, and it will probably be enough people to turn up (see what I did there?).
2. Surprisingly, the most awkward encounters you’ll have are with the people you’re NOT friends with on Facebook.
It’s so easy to talk to people you haven’t seen in years if you’re friends with them on Facebook. You actually recognize these people at first glance without having to ask a friend, “who’s that?” You almost always have a topic of discussion to bring up to avoid awkward silences – whether it’s congratulations on an engagement, a compliment about how cute their kid is, or a question about how they’re liking [insert city here].
As for the people you’re not friends with, you may recognize them, you may not. But regardless, what the fuck do you talk to them about? You literally know nothing about these people. I mean HOW FUCKING AWKWARD WERE HIGH SCHOOL REUNIONS BEFORE FACEBOOK? Can we talk about this? Because that’s the question of the year, you guys.
3. You’re going to say at least two stupid things and then regret them later on.
Do you ever get word vomit during casual conversation and say inappropriate or uncalled for shit? Do you ever get drunk and start talking to strangers like they’re you’re BFFs to only realize these people do not understand your weird and bizarre sense of humor and now probably think you are a psychopath? Do you ever bring up things you aren’t supposed to know to other people and then realize you’ve made a huge mistake after?
I feel like the all of the above basically sum up my life. But I’ve come to realize that literally everyone else is in the same boat as me. For every stupid thing I said at my reunion, someone else said something equally as stupid, and this is just based on what I can remember. So fantastic – we are all just a bunch of idiots trapped in adult bodies living adult lives trying to navigate this adult world. Cool.
4. Awkward situations make for the best stories.
A reunion would be pretty boring without awkwardness. Like, isn’t that the whole point of putting all of your high school classmates, most of whom you haven’t seen or talked to in years, most of whom you were never friends with in the first place, in one room for an extended period of time? It’s hilarious and awesome torture that we inflict upon ourselves. And TBH, this whole experience makes for a much better story than the same old Saturday night out with friends.
5. It is really just an excuse to get fucking wasted — and you needed the excuse, like, so bad.
When you get older, it becomes hard to come up with a good excuse for why you blacked out, puked for three hours, and spent Sunday in a coma on the couch. I’m just kidding, I didn’t black out at my 10 year reunion. And I didn’t throw up or spend Sunday on the couch. I was good. I can’t say that about literally any other time I’ve gone out since turning 18 – but damn did I give off functioning former alcoholic vibes this past weekend. Again, I’m just kidding, I only throw up 86% of the time after drinking.
6. The best thing about me is that I don’t care what other people think, but the worst thing about me is that I care way too much about what other people think. Still.
Clearly, I can’t give TOO much of a shit about what people think because my career is based on throwing my own creative thoughts into the world without knowing whether people will like what I’m doing, or if they’ll think I’m totally awful. But then there’s the part of me from 10 years ago that fears everyone thinks I’m awful, and that I look bad, and that I have something in my teeth, so put me in front of 70+ people I haven’t seen since I was 10 years younger, and the thoughts will start zooming around in my head. My calm, cool 2016 self will battle with my self-conscious 2006 self, and no one will win except the bartenders because I will just keeping buying drinks. And that ’tis what happened. Because even when things change, the same shit you thought you were done with will keep trying to force it’s way back into your life.
7. Yes, I am getting older, but I am also still young, I think.
Sure, it makes you feel a tad bit old to be surrounded by so many people your age who are married, have kids, and own or are looking to buy homes. It’s like when did we all become such adults? Side note: I have no idea why I just grouped myself into that ‘we’ because literally every day I am getting further away from that ‘we,’ but that’s a story for another article.
Anyway, it’s pretty fascinating to see so many people who are the same age who grew up in the same place living such different lives. Everyone – and I mean everyone – is in a different stage of life. There’s no competition to achieve certain statuses. There’s no race to get to certain places in life. This truly isn’t high school anymore – It’s just life. And hopefully, everyone is on a path that makes themselves happy. This realization can really only happen off of social media, so if you go to your 10 year reunion for one reason only, make that it. And then stop comparing yourself to everyone online because you is you, and you is doing fine.