21 May, 2012

'Tis the Season

'Tis indeed the season for reunions.  I graduated from UNH (Durham) and received graduate degrees from BU and Rollins, but I've never been to a reunion at any of them.  Instead, every five years, I head my car north on the Merritt Parkway and attend my prep school reunion weekend.  

Why?

I think those were the most important, and definitely most formative, years in my life.  I know I've stayed closer to more of those classmates.  We shared not only Latin I, calculus, and hideously unflattering uniforms, but also teenaged angst, first loves, first broken hearts, acne, SAT scores, and everything else that went with being in high school.

I graduated from an all-girl school,  with 72 other girls,  in an intimate ceremony on a tradition-rich campus.



Four years after we graduated the school went coed and the our school was amalgamated into our "brother" school, moving to its campus.  We lost our campus, our chapel and many of our traditions - it's hard to move the 150-year-old tree seniors criss-crossed with daisies on graduation day.

Now 45 years (no comments, please) after graduating we return to a much larger, alien campus, our friendship still strong despite time, distance and circumstances.  


Going to a reunion is like slipping on your oldest flannel pjs: they're a little worn and faded, but they're familiar, comfortable and warm.  Maybe they don't fit the same as the day you bought them, but you adjust and feel good. 

Some returning alumnae are now retired, some have grandchildren, some are reinventing themselves into second and third careers, yet we still share bonds that go deeper than yearbook scribblings.  We fly in from London, California and elsewhere to spend three days reminiscing, swapping pictures and enjoying our time together - and discovering that we've all turned into our mothers!  We leave with new shared memories of the weekend and a determination to do it all again in five years.




 So, for all of you who don't go to reunions....why not? Try it, you might just like it.

And for those of you who do go back, what's the best part? Or your best memory?

3 comments:

  1. Actually, I returned to Michigan from Connecticut for my 35th, 40th, and 45 high school reunions. At the 35th, I discovered that a classmate I never knew "then" was a session musician in Detroit, and she inspired a character in a still unsold PI series. The character appeared in a pubbed short story about two years ago, and I'm still trying to sell the novel(s). The musician and I now stay in touch, too. The next reunion will be number 50. Still not sure how that's possible since I'm only 32, but I expect to go back again.

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  2. nope, cuz i never formally had a graduating class or year for highmschool and colleges dont reunion here

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  3. I never go to my college reunions, but I've gone to everyone of my high school class reunions except for one that was held when one of my babies was due to be born. I find they actually get better. There's fewer of us now, and the little cliques no longer exist. Just a bunch of older people sharing some memories and learning new things about each other.

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