Whether school, college or university – how do you really feel about reunions?
I’ve just returned from the 30 year reunion of my college year. It was an extraordinary weekend.
Most of us have a morbid fascination with how our contemporaries might have aged in comparison with us. Many of us are intrigued to know how life has treated our peers. Some of us would run a mile in the opposite direction rather than find out. A handful are terrified of the prospect that few have achieved very much at all.
Inevitably over the years since graduating I’ve discovered that while I’ve been raising a family and working on my writing craft many others from my college cohort have been working on high-powered careers. Ten years ago I found the comparisons cringe-worthy, almost shameful, as my ego tried to taunt me about how little I had to show for my education.
But as we enter our fifth decade there is a different feeling. An awareness of our mortality perhaps. A realisation that for all the striving we can neither take our success with us, nor hand it on to anyone else.
Now my contemporaries and I are more open, more honest, more prepared to admit our mistakes, and more eager to know what else life has to offer other than climbing to the top of the corporate ladder and professional tree. It seems like we are becoming far more wise than clever.
At this reunion I’m happy to say I felt much more comfortable in my own skin. I learned that while others have become lawyers and bankers and headteachers and chief executives I have become myself. And that felt good.
Regardless of whether or not a school or college reunion is a possibility in your life, it’s a useful exercise to reflect in your journal on how you might bring people you used to know up-to-date on what, or who, you’ve become.