Why I Don’t Want To Attend My High School Reunion

January 29, 2013 in Getting Older

My 30-Year High School Reunion is coming up in June and I have no interest in attending. None. My distaste for the event is not brought on by what you think:

I did not hate high school.

I was not a loner or a geek or the school slut (far from it, I’m afraid).

I was never bullied or picked on.

In fact, I had a great circle of friends, some of whom I’m still close with today. I had excellent grades. I was an involved student, participating with the school newspaper, yearbook and the kickline squad (I was like a Radio City Rockette but my days of jumping into a split are long over). I have some great memories of those years. But still, I have no desire to go to a party with a bunch of people who I hardly talked to in high school. Sure, there are a handful of old friends I don’t see on a regular basis who I’d like to see. But, the others? Eh, couldn’t care less. Besides, we’re all on Facebook now anyway so why do I need to see them in person and try to make an awkward conversation comfortable? I know, bad attitude.

Our high school class has set up a Facebook group and everyone is posting old photos now, gearing up for the event. Yes, it’s fun to poke fun at our big hair, Flashdance sweatshirts, and high-waisted jeans. But that’s kind of enough for me. I don’t have much more to say to these people. I feel like something is wrong with me because everyone else seems so excited for the reunion. Videos are being compiled, memoriam speeches prepared for classmates who have passed, and other party plans are being readied.

The comment threads on the Facebook page are like one giant pep rally, with everyone making the effort to track others down and encourage our classmates to attend. One person commented that “our graduating class was special because we were all so close.” Huh? Are they sure they are referring to the Class of ’83? I see nothing that separates our class from any other high school class.. Our class still had the popular kids, the nerds, the jocks, and the “greasers” — the kids who wore leather jackets and received the best grades in the auto mechanics elective. Bottom line, we had just as many cliques as any other high school.

I’ve done my time with reunion gigs: I went to both my 10-year and 20-year reunions. At the 10-year, many people were married except for me. However, I dragged my then-boyfriend (but future husband) along, and he hung out with all my friends’ husbands. They were all pretty miserable, but they endured the night together at a table in the corner. At the 20-year, we wised up and left our spouses at home. This time, I was 3 1/2 months pregnant, though. Not only couldn’t I drink, but I looked chubby, instead of like a glowing pregnant woman. Every time someone came up to me, I quickly said, “I’m pregnant, not fat!”

At the 20-year, I thought the women looked great, and the men, not so much. Many of them had lost hair and gained some weight. This time, I think the tables are going to turn the other way. I think the women are going to look older or botoxed or both, and the men are going to look good for 47/48. Just a hunch. I hope I’m wrong. Personally, I’m still clinging to a comment that was made after the 20-year by one of our classmates who informally summarized the reunion in a post-event email with categories like “best dressed” and “most likely to be divorced by the 30th.” The category he put me in was “Person who has not aged one day since high school.” Woo hoo! Something tells me I won’t earn that honor again. Maybe I need to get a few needles to the forehead before the big day.

In all honesty, I’m not worried about how much I’ve aged. We’ve all aged, we’re all 30-friggin’ years older than high school! I think I’m more worried about feeling like Emily from high school, who was mostly happy, but who was SO MUCH happier once she arrived at college. College was where I finally felt confident with who I was and who I could become. Some people peak in high school. I think I was only starting to head upwards from high school, and I’d like to think I haven’t started to descend yet.

New York Magazine recently ran a cover story, “Why You Never Truly Leave High School” which discussed how our self-image from those years is especially adhesive. The article asserts that one of the reasons high schools produce such peculiar value systems is precisely because the people there have little in common, except their ages. Since there is no clear way to sort out social status, kids create them on their own based on crude, common-denominator stuff like nice clothes, athletic prowess, and looks, rather than on subtleties in personalities. This results in an unfortunate paradox: Though adolescents may want nothing more than to be able to define themselves, they discover that high school is one of the hardest places to do it. Maybe I was one of those kids, not quite fitting into one of those categories, but desperately wanting to neatly belong.

The New York article also points out that before Facebook, there was a real discontinuity between our high school selves and the rest of our lives. Since Facebook arrived, social ties that would have gone dormant now remain accessible over time, and all the time. According to Pew Research, 22% of our Facebook connections are from high school. Many of us choose to revisit our years from high school. I know I’m one of those Facebook users, with a large share of my Facebook friends from my high school class. So, what’s my problem? Why am I hesitant to show up at my reunion?

Maybe I’m reluctant to go because I’m an inherently shy person. My younger self was much more timid and cautious. Perhaps I’m remembering the younger me and I don’t want to go back there. The older me loves to socialize and I enjoy meeting new people at any opportunity. Except my former classmates are not new people. And, many of them are people who barely acknowledged me in the school hallways.

I’ll admit, I’ve reconnected with plenty of my classmates on Facebook and I’ve discovered some of them are funny, interesting adults. I’ll even admit I thought I was “smarter” than some of them and that they might never have a solid career. Of course, the joke is on me as I struggle to make it as a writer, having given up my first career over 14 years ago. Perhaps I should welcome the opportunity to talk to the others I judged too harshly, but now make a good living and have beautiful families. And perhaps I should make the effort to reconnect with the people who I disliked, but actually turned out to be nice people. And likewise perhaps I should reach out to the ones who disliked or ignored me, but now may realize I was just a shy girl. Who knows, maybe I’ll realize we were a special class after all.

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Cyndi January 29, 2013 at 9:30 am

Hmm….I haven’t gone to ANY h.s. reunion and I won’t go to any, lol. I really wasn’t that popular and there were only 100 people in grades 9-12. I keep up with the people that I did like and then I sort of leave it at that. Technology makes stuff like that weird because without Facebook, I think I would have left a lot more people in the past. It’s interesting what “reconnecting” does. Definitely a fun, thought-provoking post. 😉


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 1:09 pm

If I went to a small high school like yours, I highly doubt I’d go. My graduating class had 300 people in it so it was a large high school. Plus, many of us still live relatively close so it makes the reunion turnout a lot higher.


Lois Alter Mark January 29, 2013 at 10:41 am

Such a fascinating post! I’ve never gone to any of my high school reunions and am now trying to think about the real reasons why. I’ve gone to my camp reunions because those people were so important to me. And, yes, Facebook means we never leave anywhere! Thanks for sharing this.


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm

It’s funny because I’m still in touch with some of my camp friends too and you’re right, I’d be more likely to go to a camp reunion over a high school one…I loved camp!


Melanie Chisnall January 29, 2013 at 10:42 am

My 10 year high school reunion was 2 years ago and I didn’t go for the very reason that you don’t want to go to your one. I don’t see the point. If you’re not friends or speaking to people and want to see them now, what’s the point of going to a reunion? I didn’t enjoy high school at all, in fact I hated it. Hated the little groups, hated being forced to study things I didn’t enjoy, hated the ugly brown checkered uniforms we had to wear. I couldn’t wait to leave. I won’t go to any reunions because for me – they’re a waste of time. I’d much rather socialize with friends or family who I speak to, and not simply go to see how much weight so and so has put on, or if so and so is still with so and so. No thanks. We went to my husband’s one a few years ago and it was so boring. He said afterwards he would have preferred not to have gone.


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Yes, I can definitely see not wanting to go if you had a bad high school experience…who wants to re-live that? And yeah, I think they are pretty boring in general!


Art B October 29, 2014 at 2:27 pm

I have attended all of my high school reunions and am now helping to plan our 50th. Here is my take: Each one gets better. At the 10th, many were still in their clicks. By the 20th, people were more interested in how everyone was doing – friends and “enemies”. By the 25th and beyond, it was all about the people. No one cared who was successful or how many children they had. They put aside their bad memories and just talked about those very special memories they had. Perhaps what has made this so special for many of us is that it was not just about the 3 years of high school. Many of us spent 12 or more years with some of these people. They had a profound impact on our childhoods and on our lives.


ohboymom October 29, 2014 at 6:51 pm

I agree with everything you said…I did end up going to my 30th reunion and had a great time. And it’s so true that for me, these people were more than just high school friends – they were childhood friends from kindergarten onward who knew my family, the house I grew up in and so on…thanks for commenting!


Janine Huldie January 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

My 20th is coming up in 2 years time and I am with you. I have literally no desire to go. I wasn’t completely unfortunate in high school, but still just don’t feel like reconnecting with so many that I haven’t seen or could care less about. And I guarantee if we have Facebook involved I, too, will be hearing how we were all just the best of friends and what a great class we had. When in reality, we were no different from any other graduating class. Great post and you said it so perfectly with feelings on high school reunions.


Anne (@notasupermom) January 29, 2013 at 11:15 am

I went to my 10th pregnant. It just wasn’t as fun. I skipped the 20th and went to visit a friend instead. I made the right choice.
Thanks to Facebook I’m already in contact with everyone I want to stay in touch with. Buying a dress and travelling eight hours back home holds little appeal.


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Oh believe me, if I had to travel far to get to my reunion, NO WAY would I go. Mine is only a 35-minute drive away so it’s harder to make the excuse. And you’ve also reminded me now I have to find something to wear…ugh.


Ann June 25, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I just want to say thank you for your post. My 20 year reunion is this fall and I don’t want to go. I don’t feel bitter about HS not being all that great for me…but the reality was that it wasn’t that great. So 20years later–why put myself in those uncomfortable converstations–we weren’t really friends then and we aren’t now and that’s ok! Facebook made it fun to see everyone–but even that, I’ve cut most of those people off b/c what’s the point?! We didn’t have a 10 year but had a 15 year and I was pregant and fat and tired so I left early. I’ve since gotten together with a few people who I was really good friends with back then but even that was weird–the one woman complained about her ex husband all night and the other one who still loved with her parents complained about her job. They didn’t seem to notice how happy I was with both my husband and job. :-) Those people had peaked in HS but I didn’t! My time was college! So thanks for this post–it made me realize that I don’t have to feel bad about not wanting to force an uncomfortable situation onto myself! :-) thanks!


Heather O. January 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

Great post! My 20th is coming up in 4 years, and my husband’s 20th (same school, same friends) is in 2 years. Neither of us went to our 10 year reunions, and I doubt we will go to our 20 year reunions either. We had planned to go to the annual alumni party for our school this past summer, but after our baby died, we couldn’t bring ourselves to go. Now the whole idea has just lost its’ charm for us. We both keep in touch with our close friends from school, and beyond that, what’s the point?


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Yup, I get it Heather, and I too don’t see the point. Maybe if there’s someone you want to reconnect with that you hadn’t seen since high school, but other than that, I just don’t get it.


Jeanne January 29, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I totally get it. You had a so-so time at the last two. You know what’s going on from FB. Why go through the hoops?


nothingbythebook January 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I agree totally. I’ve moved on with life–that’s a part of my life that’s 20+years back, and I don’t need to revisit it at all. The people from that part of my life who’ve remained important to me are still part of it… and as for the rest, I’m quite happy keeping them in the dusty yearbook and not popping back into my real life.


Ellen Dolgen January 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm

You don’t have to be even a shy girl/loner/geek/nerd (…) to skip on reunions… For some people they just symbolize an era that has long passed so they decide not to revert to it in any aspect.


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Exactly…I’m fine being in the era I’m in now and don’t feel the need to re-live that one.


Linda Thomas Anderson January 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Great post! Although I don’t necessarily agree about not wanting to go to my next reunion (that would be my 40 year!), I do agree that Facebook has taken a bit of the wind out of the Good Ship Reunion’s sails! I go because I went to school in California and now live in the Midwest, so even though a lot of us are Facebook friends, we NEVER get a chance to see each other in person. Plus, its a great excuse for a getaway vacation! Thanks for a new perspective!


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I can definitely understand your perspective because you never get to see each other…in my case, the people I’d want to see all live reasonably close and I feel like I don’t need the reunion to get together with them. If I went to school in California though, I’d likely want to fly back there too for a visit!


Haralee January 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Don’t go if you are unsure. You can see the people you want and then there is Facebook images! I have never gone to any of mine because of geographic location or time of year, but my husband went to his 20th, closer, and when his 30th came around his comment was “I just saw them 10 years ago!”


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Your husband’s comment is hysterical! I’m going to try that to see if that works for me with my friends who want me to go…thanks for commenting!


Amy Ruhlin January 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm

My HS experience was very similar to yours and I have never been to ANY reunions..just no desire. However, because of FB, I reconnected with my group of HS friends and we have had several small gatherings, just us..it’s a blast, way more fun than the large reunion with folks I didnt really know, I’m sure.


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I agree that the small gatherings with the people you REALLY want to see is the way to go…wish I could convince my friends of the same. Thanks for commenting!


Stacy Harris January 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I went to my 10 year class reunion and had a blast. I am actually looking forward to my next reunion. Not really sure why because I didn’t fit in while I was in highschool. Maybe there is a part of me hoping to impress those people who looked down on me because I am no longer in highschool and I do see the change in people’s attitudes. For instance, I actually got acknowledged by popular kids. Odd considering they never acknowledged me back in… so the fact that they knew my name shocked me! Ok – maybe I am a bit bitter but my life started after highschool for the most part! :)


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I think that’s SOOO interesting that you enjoyed your reunion and looking forward to the next, considering you weren’t that enamored with high school. You are definitely the exception here and I think it’s great! I too started my life (and happiness) after high school, which is probably why I have trouble going back.


Joanna January 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm

I have to say, you are an excellent writer! I completely agree with you on certain points and hope that I am one of the friends you enjoy seeing. I remember our 10 year reunion and making a mental note, not to bring my husband to the next one. Also, remember that the now women, who thought who they were in high school, still had that holier-than-thou attitude. After the 20 year, I have to say that life is so busy, and I love reconnecting with choice few people from high school. Thanks to facebook, it enables us to stay connected to friends and family like never before. Although, in the beginning I accepted all friend request, like yourself, but after getting a virus from someone’s friend list things changed. I started over and really try to friend and accept request from people currently in my life. I don’t understand high school friends who barely spoke to me then, or has been out of my life since, wanting to be friends on facebook. It is like spying on others lives but never commenting or having anything to do with who you friend requested! But I guess that is a whole different topic.
Bottom line, we are getting older, and I enjoy seeing and reconnecting with those I loved in high school. It is lots of fun reminising about the past, while we can still remember it!


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Thanks Joanna and yes, you are ABSOLUTELY one of the friends I enjoy seeing, but I think you knew that already. And, you’ve brought up a very interesting phenomenon about friending or spying on people on Facebook who we were never friends with to begin with…maybe I’ll write about that next! Can’t wait to see you soon!


clark January 29, 2013 at 6:42 pm

(maybe it’s that the clarks believe that they *should want* to go to reunions, scotts go because anywhere there are people, they have fun and the rogers are the ones who actually do go to reunions (after trying to pressure the clarks to attend).

Sorry to get all Wakefield Doctrine-y in my Comment, but I was struck by the near consistency of the Comments above… no one went (to previous reunions) or, if they went to one, didn’t care and don’t care to go to another. Other than the fact that most of the Comment writers are also blog writers, what else does everyone have in common, other than this fairly solid conviction that there is nothing inherently good about reunions.
There is a lot of evidence of the pressure and expectations that are (generated) in association with this socio-cultural event, which, while it (the pressure) may have worked when we were in high school, the farther in time we are from the period in life, the less the effect of this (peer) pressure. Still your ambivalence towards the prospect of attending (another) reunion is, in itself very interesting.
Very though-provoking Post, Emily.


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm

No apology necessary about applying the Doctrine to this — I loved that! And you’re right, it is very interesting that most of the comments are consistent with NOT wanting to go to a reunion. Maybe I should have taken a vote and gone with the “no-go” winner…if I do go, I’m sure I’ll have another interesting blog post after the fact. But, that’s about the only benefit I can foresee!


Rachel Harper January 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm

My 10 year is coming up this year and I feel the same as you. I run into people I graduated with from time to time and it’s awkward. We just sort of stare at each other and play a social game of chicken. I’d rather organize a gathering with my closest friends and call it a night.


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I’m so with you on that Rachel…I’m going to try to convince my closest high school friends to do the same!


Amy January 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Oh my gosh! I was on the kickline in college! I still dream about being able to do splits.:) Yet another thing we have in common…
As for the high school reunion, I totally understand how you feel. I realized at my last one (a few years ago) that I had really missed out on knowing some cool people because I was off in my group and they were off in theirs. But somehow, at the reunions, everyone just falls back into their usual routines. I think if you don’t want to go, don’t go. Do something else fun instead, like a ladies night out. :)


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Ha – you know me quite well (by suggesting a Ladies night out) already even though we’ve never met. I say you and me need to get our splits back! :)


Kelly January 29, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I don’t like those kinds of celebratory events myself. I never go. I don’t know…it just feels like everyone’s all checking up to see how they measure since back in the day. Feels kind of plastic and fake and all “looky me! If I didn’t impress ya back then? Well look at me now! I’m freaking awesome!”

Haha I don’t know maybe some people really dig that stuff but c’est moi? Pas!


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Trust me, where I grew up, there was lots of plastic and fake going on, even back in the day…so the reunion could be FILLED with lots of fake, if you know what I mean…:)


Mary Anne January 29, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Went to 20 and 30 -stil had those weird feelings I did in high school. Brought them all back. Not going to 40 unless I can afford some ah, uh, work….


ohboymom January 29, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Thank you for that comment because I just laughed OUT LOUD!


Karen January 29, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Ok, so the ten-year was an opportunity to go back and show that I had in fact found someone to marry me (and you did have your hubby-to-be in the wings), and the twenty-year was where the aging process had definitely knocked some people into a category that they were not in during high school (generally not for the better, except for you the one who “hadn’t aged a day”). I was labelled something like “most underrated in high school” (I think that was supposed to be a good thing for my twenty-year older self). But we definitely got in a lot of laughs with people we hadn’t seen (and maybe I had more laughs then you because at least I could have some drinks that night). I agree that the FB friending of these old high school people is strange now (I totally remember the names but can’t remember if we were really ever friends in HS, and if we were friends at some point, did we leave HS as friends, vague acquaintances, or outright enemies). Even stranger is having the one girl in HS who I had a physical “altercation” with “like” one of my comments. Has everybody forgotten the details of HS?! But so what if at the thirty-year we end up in a small group with the people we really like and who we would talk to anyway – it’s just nice to spend an evening feeling that young again. Having a child exactly 30 years younger than me, who will graduate high school within days of our 30th HS reunion, it’s fun to remember the ridiculousness of those days. But the real value of going to the thirty-year is that it will fuel the conversation and laughs of the lunches that we will have in the months following the reunion.


ohboymom January 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Yes, I do remember you got the “most underrated in high school” label and think we received the two best “awards”! Don’t worry, I promise not to wiggle out of this big event, unless of course something bigger comes along.:) I promise to be your “date” and you’re right — we will have lots of laughs and comments as a result of going. That will make it worth it, I’m sure.


Mama Marmalade January 30, 2013 at 8:10 am

I totally know where you’re coming from. I feel the same about high school as you do. Nothing traumatic happened and it was all rather normal but the thought of going to a reunion now fills me with dread. We had our 20 year reunion a couple of years ago and I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to be living in another country! Even on the night it actually happened I felt a bit tense .. and I wasn’t even there. Not even on the same continent! lol


ohboymom January 30, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Lucky you to live so far away from your high school…maybe there’s still time for me to relocate so I’ll have a good excuse not to attend the reunion. :)


Barbara January 31, 2013 at 1:02 am

I didn’t take time to read the other comments, but just wanted to encourage you to go. This past fall I attended my 35th reunion. We try to have them every 5 years. This one wasn’t well attended, I think for many of the reasons you gave, and I was surprised, because through Facebook, many of us have connected who never really knew each other in high school, and we’ve become really close. But there were many at this one who had never attended a reunion before and they were so glad they finally made one. We had so much fun at our 30th that we continued having informal mini-reunions at least once a year so we could build upon those relationships. The girls/women I graduated with have formed a group and we have get-togethers once a year. I just hosted one at my home and was amazed that when I looked at their faces, I realized I didn’t hang around a single one of them in high school, but now consider them dear friends. Life is really weird. But beautiful. Go.


ohboymom January 31, 2013 at 4:07 pm

That is very interesting Barbara and I must say, a bit unusual that you’ve reconnected with people you weren’t friends with in high school who are now close friends. Life is strange indeed! In my case, I’ve kept my close circle of friends from high school so I don’t feel like I’d be missing anything if I didn’t go…that being said, I AM planning to go. I hope my 30th is as much fun as yours was!


Barbara January 31, 2013 at 4:26 pm

We realize it is very unusual and that we are really blessed! I’ve stayed close to my original circle of best friends, too. They just weren’t able to attend this gathering. It was a surprise birthday I threw for a woman I’ve known since the 3rd grade. However, we never clicked until we worked together on our 10th reunion. We’ve been best friends ever since. To say these friendships and connections are a blessing would be an understatement! I’m glad you are planning on going, and hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed mine!


Janadrian Bettard July 15, 2016 at 10:56 am

Well that’s good for you. But don’t force nobody else to go if they don’t want to. That’s like somebody forcing me to eat two burgers at a time. Which is awkward.


JC July 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm

I have my 30 year reunion coming up in a few weeks and am going to skip it. It will be the first one I miss. My issue is that when I went away to college many of my H.S. buddies would come up and party…in a sense they never left me alone. They stunted my college experience big time…I joined a fraternity that my HS pals thought was snooty but really it was just more socially advanced. In the end I never fully committed to my new college social opportunities out of some stupid sense of loyalty to my HS buddies. The irony is that my HS friends ended up hating me for “moving on” anyways…so I lost on both fronts.


Mzlin July 22, 2013 at 12:04 am

I completely understand your situation. I am not looking forward to my 30th reunion in November. My reasons include the “planners” for the event have worked hard to make all the decisions about the schedule of events, ie date, locations and time. These planners have also based everything on events they would enjoy vs people as a whole. I will be boycotting my reunion because I do not want to spend $150 for a byob event.


Brooke Turner July 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Hi Everyone!
My name is Brooke and I’m a Producer for the Steve Harvey Show in Chicago- I came across this post and thought it was very interesting and wanted to say because it’s such a big topic that people deal with, we’re working on doing a segment in regards to high school reunions. I wanted to see if anyone has a reunion coming up that they’re thinking about going but need some advice on how to prepare for it? Would you want to share your story and get Steve’s help in the process? If you’re at all interested, you can either shoot me an email directly, or send us your story at:
Thanks so much!


ohboymom July 24, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Thanks for reading and commenting Brooke. I can forward this information to my readers over my FB page and Twitter to see if anyone would be interested in participating. Good luck with the show!


Brooke Turner July 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm

That’d be so great! Thanks so much!!


Bryan January 23, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Both of my high schools were very homophobic so high school was an overall unpleasant experience for me. All of the anti-gay attitudes and name-calling just enabled me to learn how to hate people. I would rather focus on the good in my life now and not give those people from the past any more time or energy.

My graduating class has had both five year and ten year reunions and I did not go to either. I also didn’t even respond to the respective invitations. There are a few with whom I am friends on Facebook and that’s great. Some who were total assholes to me back then have tried to friend me on Facebook and I have a blast being cold blunt honest with as to why we will never be friends and letting them know that they are ridiculous to bother contacting me.

Sounds heavy-handed to some people, I’m sure. But I don’t care.


ohboymom January 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm

It doesn’t sound heavy handed to me. I can totally understand you not wanting to reconnect to those people who were jerks back in the day. High school can be such a tough time for so many. I have one kid in 10th grade now and I’d like to think that the high school experience is more evolved and less clique-y than when I went, but from what I can tell, it’s still the same narrow-mindedness. Good for you for looking forward rather than back.


DJ Williams February 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm

If you had a bad experience in high school I can surely understand why you would not attend a single reunion. If you live to far away (costing you more money than it’s worth) I can surely understand why you would not attend a reunion also.

But a reunion is just that. It’s a chance to socialize with your friends. Just like a family reunion is a chance to socialize with family. Surely you don’t know all those cousins and in laws who show up at the family reunion. Yes, you went to a class of 300 and surely you were not friends with even 75% of them but it’s the 25% why you are attending the reunion. If everyone thought like you it would make for a lack luster reunion. Remember because you are not attending you are making a friend that came to see “you” miss out. The reunion is just not about you it’s about everyone involved. That’s what makes it a reunion. Now if anybody’s time spent at a reunion was just that boring than your planners didn’t do a great job at planning the reunion. Or they didn’t get the support they needed.

I went to my 10th, 20th, and 25th and I volunteered to be the Chairman for our 30th this year. And I must admit I had fun at them all…not a boring time spent. And it wasn’t just because the planners planned it well. It was because my friends didn’t do like some (and don’t show) but because they showed which made it fun and exciting for me. Did I know everyone there? Heck no. Yes you had you jock, most prettiest, most likely to succeed…etc there that I knew of but not personally but the other 10% to 25% I did know and we enjoyed each other’s company.

So for all you guys that said you don’t see the need to attend your reunion. You can run that game on yourself and say you enjoyed your time in high school and there were no issues. But if that was truly the case you would be just like my friends after each reunion…anticipating the next five years for the next one.

Just my thoughts.


KTBailey September 21, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Its funny how the people who ruled the school are now bloated, fat and wrinkled. These are the same people who laughed at other high schoolers for their body flaws, bad clothes or bad hair. Now, they look just as repulsive as what they claimed others were. At my last reunion, the former “leaders” of the school pack showed up, dressed to the nines, still trying to impress people. And very few people showed up at all, so I suppose not many people want to see them anymore. Only about 30% of the graduating class shows up at these reunions. So, they wasted money on expensive outfits and starved themselves for months to lose weight, for really nothing. The people who were impressed by them years ago, have moved on in life and have their careers, families and not much time for attending reunions.


Ron March 19, 2015 at 8:26 pm

I did not go to my 10, 20 or 30. I am going to the 40th this year to exocise some demons that I have been carrying around for the last 40 years. No ones fault, I wasn’t bullied but I was a loner. i had friends and no real enemies. I could travel comfortably in most circles but not really be part of any of them. I just want to drop off some hurts that did occur. Nothing vindictive just emotional baggage that I need to leave in the past and I feel the reunion is the place to leave it. I have done well in life and am enjoying the “peak” in my life these last few decades. In reality, I do look forward to seeing where and how everyone wound up. I wish the best for all of them, we all made it this far and it ain’t over yet.


ohboymom March 20, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Sounds like in some ways you have made peace with those demons. I am guessing that when you see people at your 40th, all of that high school “baggage” will easily be left behind. What I found was that the “mean” girls were no longer “mean” and in fact karma was quite the bitch to them – I’ll leave it at that. Good luck at your reunion!


John November 10, 2015 at 10:30 am

I’ve never been back for any of our reunions. It’s not the I disliked high school. I was not one of the “popular kids” but I was a good athlete, did fine academically and had some good friends. Life really began after high school. I had a college psychology instructor who said that the best thing we can do is burn our yearbooks and never look back. I agree.


gary ockunzzi January 17, 2016 at 2:24 am

It seems like a mixed bag. There is some good in re-connecting with people from your past (some of them). On the other hand, some will see you are you were and won’t validate your growth (most likely, because they haven’t grown). Take it our leave it? Weight the potentialities. Go or stay away. Listen to your inner self.


Beth March 17, 2016 at 5:11 pm

My 30th reunion is coming up and I’d rather eat a huge pile of dog s*** than attend! I stay in touch with those who are my real friends, the rest I could care less about. I was very quiet in high school (not so now!) and everyone thought I was stuck up which I find hilarious since the truly stuck up ones wouldn’t even walk down the same hall way as me back then. Now these same losers are all “super” nice and sweet (on Facebook) and all religious and noble, it seriously makes me sick. My life is so much better now and I guess I could go and flaunt all I have in their fat faces (in my mind they are all fat now!) but who cares. They weren’t worth my time back then and they certainly aren’t worth my time now. I really don’t understand people who love going to these things, they must be some kind of special mental.


Janadrian Bettard July 15, 2016 at 11:20 am

I won’t be goin in 2021. Cause I’m the same here like everybody else.


A WellWisher May 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm

High School was ‘forced socializing’ and all about sports with little emphasis on our studies. One or two good teachers but not great. I learned less than other people I have met throughout the past 50 years. Yeah. I am 66. Look about 35.
No motivation to attend. Do not know what I would talk about…married but no kids. Cats and every other critter that comes along are welcome.
None of the people close to me attended theirs either. And when I lived in Canada they could not believe we had high school reunions…especially every five years. . .


Susan pare July 29, 2017 at 10:22 pm

This is awesome and captures ALL of my feelings as I lay happily in bed tonight at 9:00 pm as my 35th reunion is going on. Thank you for helping me feel that someone else understands why I will rest well with my decision! You are a great writer! ?


ohboymom September 6, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Thanks so much — glad my post was helpful to your decision!


bud michaels August 15, 2017 at 7:39 am

Unless you were a great athlete, a respected scholar, the prettiest cheer leader or are a multi-millionaire self made today, don’t go. You will be seen as you were back in high school….no matter how much you’re grown or how much you have accomplished in your life since then. The hit that your self esteem will take? Ask yourself if you need it? Move on. Be what and who you are today.


bud michaels September 3, 2017 at 11:33 am

If you are into “rubbing it into” other people’s faces about how “successful” you are today, by all means, attend. If you are into “being compared to” by other people, that only measure you by your status and your money, and you have both: go. If you are “the real deal,” “non-phoney,” dance to your own drummer and don’t necessarily fit with the ‘protocol,’ don’t fucking go. It will take you a long time to recover from an event that your soul didn’t deserve.


Dan Halen September 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm

This is so refreshing to read. I have skipped all of my reunions and share many of the feelings all of you have. I was a loner for sure, did not like high school, and didn’t like 98% or better of the students/faculty. They were all insensitive assholes and all they’re interested in doing is rekindling their glory years. Pity! It is truly pathetic that most people seem to peak in high school. I didn’t peak until I was in the military, college, and working as a professional. I don’t need a toothless meth-head hillbilly to justify my achievements or Mary Jane Rotten Crotch to stroke my ego. I spend time with real friends and my loving family. I spent years away from my family on deployments and I don’t want to deny them one more day away from me.


Keitt September 28, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Great issue. Some people told me I will be missed, but a few others either just tolerate me or judge me erroneously. Three of four friends told me they will not go again, one said it could be a positive experience? Went to one grade school reunion where people on a whole were Nic, but none ever called and said let’s go out for a beer. In fact one ex friend dropped me from Fb because I spent some time with her alleged abusive ex! So, I hope I win the lotto, and will be on another planet.


Fallon December 15, 2017 at 5:58 pm

I could have written your post a few years ago. I didn’t fit in a neat box and felt somewhat like an outsider in high school and the last thing I wanted was to go back to that feeling. Our class didn’t have great class officers. They never did run the reunions. The reunions were mostly run by a small group of people who still lived in our hometown and they appeared to get tired of it because at the end of summer I asked a few classmates if there was going to be a 40th reunion. Weirdly, some of them said, if you throw it, I’ll help and I’ll come. I didn’t realize that being on the edge of a lot of different groups was actually a strength. I had so much fun tracking down classmates (the internet really is amazing for this). I found people who had been “lost” for 40 years. There was an occasional shock and sad moment when finding out someone had passed away or was very ill. But, FB and Classmates helped getting the word out, as well as old fashioned snail mail and we had a great turnout. People said it was the best reunion so far. We had a large class and at the 40th, I honestly couldn’t remember if I knew people or just knew of them, but it didn’t matter. That was the beauty of it. We shared a space at a certain and important time in our lives. It was really nice to acknowledge that.


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