OK class, time for a pop quiz!
You receive your class reunion invitation. What do you do?
- Ignore it
- Groan and hit delete
- Shout “Woo-hoo!” and click “Register”
- Make a note to call your friends to see if they are going
- Agonize for weeks over whether or not you want to attend, then sign up at the last minute
- Sign up right away, then agonize for weeks over whether or not you want to attend
Whatever your response is, it’s likely I have been there, too. Depending on my stage of life, I have either been excited, uninterested or torn about attending my high school and college reunions. I have attended some, skipped others and have had a variety of both fun and disappointing reunion experiences.
I had a significant college reunion this year and decided I was going to do all I could to get the most out of it and ended up having a wonderful time! How did I do it? Read on for my tips to survive your class reunion and who knows? Maybe you’ll even enjoy it!
Join the Planning Committee
My number one tip for getting the most out of a class reunion is to volunteer to help plan it. What better way to make your reunion interesting and relevant than to contribute your ideas? If you’re like me and you haven’t been the best at keeping in touch with your friends from school, serving on the volunteer committee will guarantee that you will know people at the event. We’re all adults now and that person you might not have known well at school could turn out to be a good friend! I also discovered that serving on the reunion committee gave me carte blanche to talk to pretty much anyone as I was one of the event hosts. Now, as an extrovert, this was pretty much my dream come true but having that “Reunion Committee” ribbon gives almost anyone an extra edge and the confidence to engage with their former classmates.
Who’s Your Plus One?
Next, you will need to decide who to bring with you to the reunion. Bringing your significant other will guarantee that you will have someone to talk to at the event, but you may be hesitant to connect with old classmates for fear of leaving your date in the dust. Even worse, your date could end up monopolizing all your time, leading to missed opportunities to catch up with old friends. I brought my husband and toddler to a reunion and we all ended up regretting it. He felt like his only purpose for being there was to babysit while I ended up not fully participating in the reunion because I felt bad leaving them while I went off to have fun. One way to make this decision is to clarify your purpose for attending your reunion. If it’s to catch up with as many classmates as possible, you may want to go solo. But, if you want your partner or family to learn more about an important part of your life, by all means bring them along!
Now, you need to sign up. Don’t overthink it! Just do it!
Plan Your Wow-‘Em Wardrobe
Time to think about packing! Dressing for success isn’t just for job interviews. Be sure to bring outfits that you feel great wearing to give you that extra boost of confidence! Don’t forget your smile – your most lovely accessory of all!
Gloat A Little
If there are some memories from school that continue to haunt you today, remember that you are not the same person you were back then and it is the person you are now that is attending the reunion. Therefore, don’t hold back in sharing all the wonderful things that are happening in your life and allowing the amazing person that you have become to shine through!
Do Some Networking
But let’s say things haven’t been going the greatest for you. Perhaps you recently lost your job or ended a relationship. As tempting as it may be, please don’t let these temporary setbacks be an excuse to skip the reunion. Instead, why not view the reunion, which is basically one huge networking event, as an opportunity? Getting reacquainted with old friends could lead to many rewarding new relationships. And don’t be shy about letting people know you are seeking new career opportunities. People are usually more than willing to connect you to organizations that could utilize your experience, talents and skills.
Handy Conversation Starters
If you’re at a loss for what to talk about at the reunion, have a few stock questions at your disposal to get conversations rolling. People can’t help but answer a question. Even those you didn’t know in school can be easy to talk to with a simple “Tell me about yourself” or “What have you been up to since graduation?” It’s likely there will be something in their answer that you can identify with and that will lead to an interesting conversation. Keeping your wits about you will come in handy as you converse; go easy on the drinks if your goal is to remember the night fondly!
Following these simple steps will ensure that your reunion will be memorable and enjoyable. So go ahead and rock that reunion, celebrating both treasured memories and the person you have become.