High school reunions are a common occurrence in most of the Western world. The United States, in particular, has had a long history of having classes commune near or around the anniversary of their graduation every five to ten years.
There’s no clear answer if you’re wondering exactly how often high school reunions are. It all depends on each high school.
Common times for reunions are every five, ten, 20, and 25 years – however, your school might do things differently. Your school also might not have a high school reunion at all.
If you’d like to find out more about high school reunions from us here at Healthy Happy Teacher, such as why they occur, how you can plan one yourself, and more information about class reunions in general, then keep reading.
Who Puts a Reunion Together?
You’re not alone if you’re curious about who gets together to plan a high school reunion. Though you might have thought that your high school’s student government disbanded after graduating, the truth is that they likely have a lot to do with organizing your class reunions.
Whoever your class president, secretary, and treasurer were, they probably have some sort of plan in place about how to go about organizing your class reunion. This is usually figured out while they’re still in high school.
One to two years before that first ten-year anniversary, a committee of student government members will communicate with one another to firm up reunion plans. However, if members are unavailable for whatever reason, a volunteer group of interested individuals might need to plan something.
If you’re interested in being one of the reunion organizers, you can reach out to other alumni from your graduating class. It’s easier than ever to stay connected with people these days with the rise of social media.
How Will You Learn About Your Reunion?
These days, the internet has made it a lot easier to look up people. Your high school may have a Facebook group, Facebook page, or Linkedin page for you and your classmates to stay in contact. If you’re not a member, you can probably reach out to one of your classmates and get an invitation.
If you don’t have a social media page, look for a physical invitation sent to your physical address – or, more likely, your parent’s address, as that would have been listed in official documents when you were still in school.
If you have the same cell phone number as in high school, then that could be another way your class planning committee might contact you. If your five or ten-year anniversary is coming up for a reunion and you haven’t received any contact, then it might be a good idea for you to reach out to a member of the student government you recall – or just hit up an old friend of yours from back in the day and see if they know anything about an upcoming reunion.
If all else fails, you can always just show up without an invitation – chances are, they’ll let you in if you were part of the class!
Where Does a High School Reunion Take Place?
You might wonder what happens at a high school reunion – what’s there to do? What sort of atmosphere is it? Well, this again will depend on what kind of school you went to. For instance, a private religious academy in Utah might not host an event at a restaurant serving or permitting alcohol.
However, for most high school reunions, events are held at convention centers or country clubs that will rent out the premises for a night of festivities. There might be a dance floor or stage for any live entertainment. Another primary indicator of what might happen is your class size. There’s a big difference between an expected reunion attendance of 200 and 50, so think about how many people are likely to attend your high school reunion.
Most high school reunions are held in convention centers because they’re used to putting on significant corporate events that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. A DJ might be available, and any provided catering will likely have a wide range of food choices for people with dietary restrictions.
You’ll probably be allowed to bring a plus one, such as your significant other, though it’s not advised you bring your children if you have any. Reunions are there so you and your former classmates can catch up and share memories – they’re for adults, not families.
Who Pays for a High School Reunion?
High schools don’t pay for events out of their own pockets – this is true even for events like Homecoming dances and the prom. The money for these events is usually drummed up by fundraising efforts organized by your student government.
It’s possible that there will be funds in the coffers from back in the day for your first class reunion. However, this money will likely be used up for any subsequent reunions. Because of this, any high school reunions you attend after the initial one might require payment directly from you, the attendee.
Any reunion will need money to rent out a space, pay for food, and also go towards entertainment if any is provided. Based on the price of tickets and the number of people attending, there might not be a lot of money to go around, so reconsider flying back home for a five-person reunion at Chili’s unless you’re very close with whoever’s attending.
What Do You Talk About?
Coming back to interact with people you haven’t seen since your formative years might sound like an intimidating experience. However, the truth is that everyone is in the same boat, and everyone there is just looking to reconnect with one another.
You’ll likely find yourself chatting with others about your life and what you’ve been doing since graduation. If it’s a ten-year reunion, you might’ve just gotten married or are in the early stages of a long-term career. Your high school reunion might be an effective networking opportunity, depending on what other industries your classmates have found themselves in.
Later reunions might find you sharing photos of your family with others. Maybe you’ve moved across the country and have a new home to show off, or you’ve been traveling the world and have stories to tell about your experiences. Depending on what stage of your life you are at, your conversations might fluctuate.
You should speak with as many people as possible at a high school reunion. You’ll likely be surprised by how much people have changed from how they were in high school. People you might not have had the best relationship with might’ve completely altered their identities – it can be a great experience to see how much people learn and grow throughout their lives.
At a 50th reunion, you might find that conversation topics shift as fewer people show up due to more serious life circumstances. Maybe someone has gotten ill, or people have passed away or are hospitalized – when people convene, the conversation tends to flow naturally.
Don’t worry too much about what you’re going to talk about. The memories you’ve shared with your classmates will serve to spark something.
Don’t worry too much about your high school class reunion. If you want to go, we recommend you do so – at worst, it’ll be a slightly awkward reliving your high school experience. However, you might have a lovely time reconnecting with the people you knew as a teenager.
You could form some solid professional relationships, firm up some old friendships with people from your graduating class, or just have a pleasant few hours diving into old memories with your high school friends.