It’s been the subject of countless TV sitcoms: an upcoming class reunion and all of the negatives that come with it. Characters are either scrambling to embarrass an old rival, doing their best to woo an old crush or looking for reasons to skip the event entirely.
We laugh at the episode’s antics and situations—and scoff at the ending when it all turns out okay. But are class reunions really so bad?
In reality, reunions are great opportunities to reconnect with the people who were important to you in your past. You get to see old friends and catch up on what everyone has been doing over the past few years. All told, there are far more reasons to attend your class reunion than there are to skip it.
Overcoming ‘reunion anxiety’
The most common reason alumni cite for skipping their class reunion is anxiety. They get wrapped up in the details of what they think a reunion is all about, instead of what it is. It’s important to remember that reunions are social events—not talent shows. You are there to see people you haven’t been able to keep in touch with, not compare salaries, cars, house sizes or job titles.
Quell your anxiety by remembering the good things about a class reunion. You’ll get to see old friends, share new laughs, expand your personal and professional networks and have a good time while you’re there.
Life after a reunion
One of the most important things to remember is that a class reunion is an invitation to future possibilities. You might end up sharing coffee a week later with a friend you haven’t seen in years. Or, you might find yourself with a job prospect after networking with someone in the same field as yours.
The reunion opens the door for ongoing interactions—even if it’s just friending someone on Facebook or adding a classmate to your LinkedIn network.
Share stories and experiences
One of the very best things about attending your reunion is listening to all of the stories. These are people you knew years ago and who have had their own life experiences in the many years since you’ve seen them last. It can be fascinating to see how people have changed and grown over the years. And you likely have some stories of your own to share!
If you’ve been curious about what happened to that classmate from social studies or wonder what careers other graduates have gone into, attend your next class reunion. When that invitation comes in the mail or hits your inbox, take a moment to reflect on all of the positive reasons to RSVP “yes.” You won’t regret it!