CLASSMATES.COM REUNION ATTENDANCE POLL
Source: Reunions Magazine, October/November 2005
Classsmates.com recently polled its community of friends and acquaintances from school, work, and the military.
Key findings revealed that:
- 85% want to reconnect with an old friend.
- 56% will attend a reunion to see the success/struggles of friends.
- 50% will flip through old yearbooks before attending the reunion.
- 46% will get a tan and buy a new outfit in preparation for the reunion.
Additionally, 68% won't fib about anything when talking with old friends and acquaintances, though 10% said
they might consider lying about their personal life (family, marriages, kids, or divorce). When asked if
they would want to go back and do high school again, 54% said they wouldn't. However, of the 46% who would
want to do high school again, 82% said they would do things differently, including being more social, more
active, and less shy.
"About 8 million people attend high school reunions each year in the US, affirming that reconnecting with
one's past is an important part of our lives," said Michael Smith, CEO and President of Classmates Online,
Inc. More than 90% of reunion planners are volunteers, the unsung heroes who make their class reunions possible.
REUNIONS ARE REASON TO REVAMP
A Reunion.com online survey showed that 55.6% of respondents want to update their appearance before their
class reunion. In fact, over 70% of respondents admitted they changed their look in some way. The most
popular improvements were easy, like updating hair, make-up, and buying new clothes. Once 1% admitted to
performing plastic surgery. And, it's not just women; in fact, more men than women said they worked out to
get in shape before a reunion.
Over 85% of respondents attend their reunion to see old friends or how people have changed. Reunions are
also a time for people to reconnect with lost loves, to rekindle a friendship, or satisfy a curiosity.
Dr. Nancy Kalish, author of Lost and Found Lovers, says "People who have gone through major life
changes since high school or college days, such as divorce or widowhood, may be subconsciously looking to
reconnect with a familiar face or old flame at their school reunions."
HIGH SCHOOL REUNION JITTERS
Anyone who has been to a class reunion knows there is a certain amount of anxiety associated
with attending a reunion. As the reunion approaches your mind becomes flooded with thoughts.
Will there be anyone there I know? What if my old boyfriend or girlfriend is there? What if nobody
remembers me? What if I don't recognize classmates or remember their names? What if I run into someone
I didn't get along with in school? I've put on weight. I've gone gray. I've lost my hair. I'm not that
Relax! You are not alone in these thoughts. Everyone else is having the same exact thoughts and
reunion jitters. Don't let these thoughts get in the way of attending your class reunion.
Bottom line is we have all changed. So what! Your not 17 anymore. The laws of gravity and time catch
up with all of us eventually. Changes are an inevitable fact of life. Accept yourself for who you are.
Be yourself. Celebrate life's changes. Relax and go and have a good time. Letting such negative thoughts
impact your decision to attend may result in you missing out on a wonderful time.
Focus your thoughts instead on the positive aspects of attending. This is an opportunity to go out
and have some fun once every 5 or 10 years, renew old friendships, catch up with each others lives,
to celebrate your youth and feel young again (if only for a moment), to reminisce about the good old days,
to share time with old friends while we are still able to, to celebrate our changes. You will quickly find
that people are not there to judge you but are there for the same reasons you are to have a great time and
touch their past. It can be a wonderfully rejuvenating experience. When it is over we can take comfort in
the fact that we have all changed, we've all gone down different paths in life but that we all still share
a common bond and enjoy a good party.
Here's some tips to help you relax at your class reunion:
- Go with an attitude of having fun.
- Be yourself and be proud of who you are.
- Dress comfortably.
- Remember everyone will have changed. You're not alone.
- Hookup with a few close classmates beforehand and go to reunion together.
- It's perfectly ok to not remember somebody. Our memories all fade. That's why name tags were invented!