Ambassador of Reconciliation
7/15/15 at 12:19 AM 2 Comments

Class Reunion Coming Up? Just Do It

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Randy Glasbergen

Maybe you would just as soon forget high school, or maybe you put it behind you long ago, or maybe you walked through it in a drug-induced haze and never remembered much of it in the first place. But whatever your experience, those were formative years in your life, and the people around you were instrumental in shaping you into the person you are today.

If you have the opportunity to reconnect with some of those people at a class reunion, I recommend that you go for it. If your instinctive reaction is to say no, I’m sure you can think of many reasons why not to do it. But give yourself a chance to consider it. If any of the following objections spring to mind, give some thought to how you can overcome them:

  • “I don’t remember anybody, and nobody will remember me.”

Plan to introduce yourself. Get reacquainted. Or talk with someone you never knew. Take the initiative; it may be easier to connect than you expect it to be.

  • “I was never in the popular crowd.”

There may still be traces of the high school cliques, but you may be surprised at how divisions have dissolved and different groups blend. Reach out to someone who was in another crowd.
  • “I’ve gained too much weight.”

Guaranteed there will be others feeling the same. Make it a goal to put them at ease.

  • “I have aged more than everybody else.”

Life has happened to you. You have matured, and you have wisdom to share. Your gray hair and wrinkles are nothing to be ashamed of.

John McPherson
T. McCracken
  • “I haven’t been successful in my career.”

There will always be some who are still playing the game of comparing and disparaging, but many have moved beyond it. Be honest. People will appreciate your authenticity and will be more likely to be vulnerable themselves.

  • “I’m embarrassed about my family situation.”

You may be divorced, have a prodigal child, have lost a child to suicide, or have experienced countless other types of sorrow in your family. As with their careers, some people would like you to think that their families are perfect. Don’t believe it.

John McPherson
  • “I’m at a different place religiously and politically.”

Listen respectfully as others tell their views; they may be more willing to listen as you tell what you are passionate about.

  • “It’s too far away / too expensive / too difficult logistically.”

You may not be able to make it this time, but you know when it will happen again. Plan ahead!

  • “Our class doesn’t do reunions.”

Plan one yourself! Find a friend, brainstorm together, choose a date, and spread the word. With social media it’s easier than ever to find lost classmates. The organizers of our reunion had a very successful plan for the weekend: An informal get-together with drinks and snacks at a bar Friday night was a good ice-breaker. One of our favorite teachers gave us a tour of the school on Saturday morning. Saturday evening we had dinner at a nice restaurant. A bring-your-own-lunch family picnic on Sunday is a fun, low-budget way to wrap up the weekend.

So take a deep breath, swallow your pride, strip away the pretenses, spend some time with the people you grew up with, and grow with them again.

Donna Presnell
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