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The upside of class reunions

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Don't fear your class reunion!

Summertime . . . and the living is easy - that is until you remember your upcoming reunion. Some people view a class reunion as a rite of passage, while others may see it as a painful reminder of time marching on. No matter how long it’s been since you walked the halls of your high school, the elephant in the room that most people ignore is the anxious anticipation that comes with the thought of going back in time and reliving the old insecurities and peer pressure that we hoped we‘d outgrown.

Adolescence is an exciting time of discovery but also a fragile time when social skills are being developed. Lacking a clear vision of who we are, our peers have an unprecedented influence over how we view ourselves during our teenage years. But even though it’s true that a reunion will inevitably bring back memories of old crushes, embarrassing moments and that awkward feeling of not fitting in, attending your reunion can bring surprising results.

Preparing for a class reunion may involve emotional considerations. It is not unusual to have mixed emotions. While the possibility of reconnecting with former friends can be exciting, there is also the worry of rekindling former rivalries. But with age and experience come maturity. The more time that's past since high school the more level the field will be with your classmates. Roles of spouse and parent, careers and appearance no longer hold the importance they once did.

The best way to prepare is by keeping your expectations realistic; view your classmates as contemporaries. Chances are that for every successful classmate there is one who is struggling - like in the real world.

Viewed as a second chance to express who we are, high school reunions offer an opportunity to disprove the negative image we have of those years. Reversing those imagined, negative feelings brings a surprising sense of release. Your class reunion can be a positive and memorable milestone and may bring the acceptance and respect that you craved.

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