My Class Reunion, Was It Worth It?

Smokin’, drinkin’ and partying too, we’re the class of Ninetytwo!

This past weekend I traveled to my hometown to celebrate my 20 year high school class reunion (yikes). My classmates who organized the reunion did a spectacular job putting together an entire weekend of events ranging from a golf outing, to an outdoor meet and greet, a dinner, a pool party and a reserving a special section at a community event involving live music and rib tasting.

Vonnie and I had a blast at both my five and ten year reunion, so we were looking forward to this one as well.

I really enjoyed reminiscing with classmates about old times, finding out what they’re up to now, and meeting spouses. I even had the opportunity to catch up with one of my best friends from middle school that moved away right before sophomore year. Even though he didn’t actually graduate from our high school, he’s kept in touch with many of us such that he was extended an invitation to the reunion. Honestly, that kind of conversation was really all I wanted to get out of the event.

However, there were so many events, the evening ones extending late into the night in a party kind of atmosphere, that I got burned out. Vonnie and I turned in rather early both evenings. The problem was, while it was certainly fun to meet up old classmates, I no longer feel connected with them. Trying to party with my classmates from 20 years ago felt a lot like that song on the radio these days, “Somebody that I used to know.”

It felt almost forced.

The weekend definitely wasn’t cheap, either. Between the reunion registration fee, the hotel (my parents no longer live there), gas and food/drink we shelled hundreds of dollars over the course of the weekend. If I had to do it all over again, I would have skipped Friday, and just attended the events on Saturday. There were some classmates that did exactly that. I still would have had the experience that I wanted out of the reunion, and would have cut my expenses by at least half.

Our school has an alumni newsletter that is published a couple of times a year, and they usually highlight reunion events. I’ve noticed that generally as the years pass, less and less people attend reunions. As I drove home, I honestly wondered if I would go to the next one.

What do you think, friends…have you attended a high school class reunion? Did you think it was worth it? Are you going to your next one?

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23 Responses to “My Class Reunion, Was It Worth It?”

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  1. I *might* go to my ten year reunion and thats a stretch-if we have one at all. Only 7 people attended our five year reunion. Sounds like a fun weekend though!

    • Travis says:

      We had a pretty good turnout for our 20th…I would estimate that 40 of the 128 members of the class attended. There seemed to be a fair number of people that either continue to live in the area, or keep in touch. I, however, haven’t really stayed extremely close with anyone (although I have connected with many classmates on facebook). It was definitely a good time…I just felt disconnected. The thought also occurred to me that maybe I simply need to make more of an effort to connect with my former classmates. One can never have too many friends in life, right? :)

  2. bogofdebet says:

    I didn’t go to my 10th anniversary (yikes) but that’s because I’m living in the midwest and it was on the east coast. I just couldn’t justify the cost of going while I’m still working on getting out of debt and saving up for that wedding of mine.

    • Travis says:

      I can certainly see why that would be cost prohibitive. My weekend wouldn’t been so bad if my parents still lived in the town where I went to high school, but they don’t – almost half of the weekend’s expenses were simply for a place to sleep!

  3. Michelle says:

    My 5 year reunion was supposed to be this summer, but no one planned anything so nothing was done.

    • Travis says:

      Ooh, that stinks. At the five year mark, things are still pretty “fresh.” I was still hanging out with several of my close friends from high school, too. My wife had a similar experience for her 20th last year….the class president (who traditionally is “supposed” to handle this sort of thing), wasn’t doing anything – so my wife stepped up, and organized it herself (surprise, surprise). She got many thanks from those that attended for doing so – as everyone was wondering and hoping *someone* would do it.

  4. Yep, I have gone to my 5-, 10-, and 15- year, and will probably go to the 20. (Just SAYIN’ “20-year” sounds awfully OLD, doesn’t it?? DAMN! But I’m only 34!!!) Anyhow, I can see why people don’t go anymore, because with the explosion of Facebook and other social media, we already get a glimpse on the regular about what’s going on with our old classmates lives–from their weeding, the birth of their children, their divorce–hell, even daily announcement about what they ate for dinner last night, and the stomach cramps they got AFTER they engorged! LOL With all that info up in your face, by actually “get together”? Sad, but true. I actually sorta like “showing myself off” at the reunions seeing what everyone is up to. Now–thanks to Facebook, I already know.

    Serena
    Thrift Diving

    • *wedding! ……hahahahah “weeding….”

      • Travis says:

        That’s a very true statement, Serena – a lot of the conversations did at least start off with, “I see on facebook that you do a lot of……….” Social Media is a double edged sword in that regard – if two people are connected via facebook it removes the need for a lot of the “Where do you live, what do you do, etc” kind of discussions. On the other hand, it does provide more detailed subject matter to talk about. Unless of course, all you’re interested in is the “surface level” kind of information, then you run out of things to talk about pretty quick!

  5. Stacia says:

    At least you had somewhat of a good time. I don’t think I’ll go to my 25th, which is next year. I may, who knows. I’m still in the town I graduated from (I know…lame) so the only expense would be something super saucy to wear and the cost of the tickets.

    :)

    • Travis says:

      We had several classmates that still live in town that didn’t attend either. I don’t fault them at all……hey, if you don’t feel it, you don’t feel it – right?

  6. I had a huge graduating class and I didn’t even know half of them in the first place. Didn’t go to 10th nor do I plan on going to the rest. I only kept up with a couple of people after graduating. Now if I was selling insurance or MLM totally worth it…ha ha.

    • Travis says:

      I come from a small town, so we all knew everyone – I can understand what you’re saying about larger classes and not knowing everyone. We have someone in our class that is involved in MLM and that’s all he posts about on facebook. I’m actually surprised he didn’t come and try to hit people up to join…..

  7. Cynthia Gottfredson says:

    Sorry I din’t go to any of my 10th, 20th, or even 30th reunion. When i was in 12th grade I didn’t realize tht all my friends from High School were all older them I was so I didn’t really have many friends who graduated the same time as I did in 1980.

    Second the teachers were not even there any more by 1985. I thinks most of them went to teach at Diamond Bar High School from Walnut.

    I really think it is just a money making event, and if you are not married, or have a business of your own or president of a company or a CEO position of any kind, It is just a waste of time. It is just a big (Braging) Rights.

    • Travis says:

      I can understand your point of view, although I don’t think my reunion felt that way. There are quite a few people that do keep in touch (remotely), and they seemed genuinely interested in hanging out with each other “just like in the good old days.” I certainly could see the scenario of people showing up just to say, “Hey look at me!” though…..I just didn’t see it at my reunion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Cynthia!

  8. Tony says:

    I haven’t attended a high school reunion (we’re all pretty scattered), but I really want to attend a university reunion. THe problem is, none of us have time!

    • Travis says:

      A college reunion is a bit more tricky since (at least in my profession) you’re grouped more by program than by graduating year. That being said, I do have a friend of mine that is organizing a College Reunion for a group of us that hung out a lot in College – all Computer Science majors, but not necessarily the same age. I would LOVE to go to that one as I have kept in contact with many of them (I actually work with some). Thanks for your comment, Tony!

  9. I would have gone with my husband to his 10 year reunion last year, but no one put one together. I graduated long distance, so none for me. Overall, we have awesome friends now, so we will probably skip any reunions in the future unless they are super close and cheap. Sorry yours was expensive. :-(

    • Travis says:

      We also have some awesome friends now that I love hanging out with. Maybe facebook is enough of a connection with high school classmates? Maybe it’s time to let go? I dunno, I keep waffling back and forth. I guess we’ll see what happens when/if there is another reunion.

  10. Cassi says:

    You were graduating, and I was negative two years old…

    That being said, I haven’t graduated yet, but I went to one of my mom’s high school reunions, and I liked it even though I didn’t know anyone. I think I will go to them, if my class even has one. There are 700 kids in my grade so there is a chance I won’t even get the opportunity. I would rather have the option than none at all…

    • Travis says:

      Oh boy, Cassi, suddenly I feel very old. LOL. I suspect that I had the same viewpoint before I graduated – since I was still connected and hanging out with my friends – why would I not want to come back and catch up? As time marches on, maybe your perspective will change…maybe not. I do agree about having the option to go is better…..our class is very lucky to have people that have organized three fantastic reunions!

  11. Jerry says:

    Ugh, I just missed my 20 year. I didn’t enjoy my 10 year at all. My insurance for maintaining friendships is keeping in touch individually. I think it leads to more fulfilling get-togethers. Though, the people who organized ours said that it was really fun and I should have come. Maybe at the 30 year.

    • I agree, Jerry, maintaining friendships does require individual effort, and cannot be done just through meeting up at reunions every 5 or 10 years. I found out the hard way that just reading someone’s facebook status helps keep you informed about someone else’s life, but doesn’t really maintain a friendship. One has to interact as well and be involved in another person’s life to do so. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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