To Go or Not to go? It is always interesting to see how people have changed, stayed the same, moved on, stayed put, are friendly, still “stuck-up” or are generally happy or struggle with their lives. We find it fascinating and yet it may be difficult if you learn that former classmates, family members or military buddies are facing their own personal troubles. But, ultimately, everyone comes together not knowing what to expect, yet wanting to catch up and enjoy the ambiance our youth for a few hours.
Reunions give us these moments in time to experience. We get to revisit and reunite with friends and family we otherwise may not have the opportunity or ability to see. More often than not, we don’t get such chances to connect with old friends and family, unless such events are formally planned by others or happen inadvertently or spontaneously.
Why are class reunions important? We believe they give us important periodic assessments of our own lives. To see if we are living up to our personal expectations and desires. If not, perhaps it encourages us reevaluate and readjust. Conversely, we may realize that we are happy with our lives, friends and abilities and decide to accept and try not to worry about what we haven’t accomplished.
Why shouldn’t we miss reunions? It is very acceptable and enjoyable just to catch up with former classmates only at reunions. Due to many reasons, that may be all that works for some. Especially for family reunions. As the saying goes, “You can pick your friends, but not your family.” The same holds true with classmates. Perhaps they are great at intervals, just not on a regular basis. However, if you miss a reunion, you loose an important personal milestone that you can never relive.
Likewise, don’t feel the need to get together in between reunions, just enjoy the time you have together at reunions. Many of us with busy lives go to reunions that, at a minimum, allow us to meet every decade or so. That’s fine too.
What if I am disappointed with my reunion? I tell people not to get upset at reunions if it doesn’t pan out as well as they expected. People are trying to get in many conversations with as many attendees as possible in a short time. I have heard from some of my alumni that they felt slighted at the reunion and vow never to return to another. My response is, “Don’t ever say never.” Try to realize that people/situations/attitudes are constantly changing. To feel anger or strong disappointment because of a few negative or uncomfortable encounters, is unnecessary and not important. I promise, your experience and the people will be completely different the next time. Just like life, expect the unexpected, but make your moments count.
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