High School Reunions…To Go Or Not To Go?

Kathleen ChelquistWe all have them – high school reunions, if our hearts are still ticking. Mine is coming up. It will be 25 years since I chanted 88, 88, 80, 80, 88!!!” I loved high school. It was a moment in time when we were all so innocent; and yet…thought we knew it all. I wasn’t the girl who was THAT into anything…but my social calendar. Football games? Yep, I’ll be there…even though I won’t look at one play…until the end. Academics? Need to get those A’s in order to be accepted into college AND prevent the dreaded look of disapproval from my parents. Dances? Are you kidding me? I lived for them. Boys? What can I say, Girls Just Want To Have Fun. And I did.

So, one could conclude (logically) that if someone “LOVED” their high school experience, they would naturally want to go to their reunion. This has NOT been the case for me. My mind and heart continue to battle it out, and today…I know my answer.

The word, “REUNION,” is almost a misnomer. Considering we were never REALLY united when we were in high school. What? Sorry, it’s true. We all had our group of friends whether it be The Breakfast Club of: Jocks, ASB, Social Butterflies, Surfers, Nerds, or the Stoners. Never really speaking to each other, much.

And then comes the time to REUNITE. That seemingly awkward “Hello” or “Hug” after 25 years, frantically searching for each other’s name tag. Or even worse…they know yours and you don’t remember theirs. And how about the people who attend just to energetically say, “Look at me…I made it! Someone loved me enough to pronounce ’till death do us part,’ and I have two kids who have just received Honor Roll, while being the STAR athletes on the basketball courts of our old Junior HS. My home is paid off, and I am just about to retire…How are you?” All the while, still proving to themselves that they are enough by their accomplishments, titles and money. Forgetting that they are enough…just by being born. Then there are those who don’t make an appearance…because they buy into the illusions and think they are too poor, fat, old and worthless. Or, they tell themselves that they just don’t care.

My MIND has come up with every excuse to NOT show up: I just saw everyone five years ago; if we all wanted to see each other-we would. Ugh, I so don’t want to wear a dress. And heels? Forget about it. Wonder who is reading my blogs? They are going to know WAY more about me than I do them; sounds uncomfortable. And…in this present moment…I am choosing to NOT drink alcohol. That’s how I got through the last two reunions; how in the heck am I going to get through this one, without the liquid courage?

Are you HERE Kathleen, It’s Me, The Uni-verse?

Shhh…you know your answer. You are going. It is where you need to be. Simply because it is a reminder of your innocence. Their innocence. It will help you remember that…we are all ONE. And this time, you can do it differently. This is your chance to UNITE… for the FIRST time.

So there you have it. The one thing I absolutely VALUE about seeing my fellow Breakfast Club classmates again, is that they remind me of my youth. A time when I can remember what it was like before my “so-called” struggles. A beautiful bridge that we ALL have in common, if we are just willing to take the time…to cross it.

As I am shedding layers upon layers of my protective and egocentric walls of fear, I am slowly being re-born to the innocence of Love.

Are you planning on going to your high school reunion? Is any fear showing up? Any separation from your fellow classmates? I would sincerely love to know.



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Kathleen Chelquist is an inspirational blogger. Engage with Kathleen on her blog, her Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • Lucia

    Thanks for sharing Kathleen. My high school reunion is also coming up this year, this month to be exact. I’ve had to take some time in making my decision too. I went to my 10 year reunion and quite frankly, although it was great to see how everyone was doing, it felt more like I was in a comic strip with characters that I am very familiar with but really knew nothing about. This time, I thought about whether I should show up, I hmm’d and haw’d, what would my reasoning be for showing up, what reasons should I not? The main reason I would show up is just to tell everyone my successes and although I am curious how everyone is doing, the main reason for not showing up is time as I really don’t have half a day of my life to spend reminiscing about a time when I really had no clue what I was doing (but thought I knew everything!). So my decision was to not go.
    However, after reading your post, I was reminded of our high school connections so I sent out a note of thanks to the organizers and an invitation to connect. I’m thankful for your post as although I decided not to go, I really would have liked to pop in and say hi for a few minutes.

    • Kathleen Chelquist

      Thanks Lucia for your comment and for the reminder to send a “note of thanks to the organizers.” I am going to get on that as well. Seeeee (without even knowing it), YOU are spreading the Love as well!!! Thank you and lots of love, Kathleen

  • Iva

    This is amazing because I have been feeling the reunion fear bug. My reunion is next Saturday and my best friend convinced me to go. It’s our 20th. I was not going to go because my surface excuse was I’d already made other plans but the real excuse was I didn’t end HS in the best way. Also, I’m still working towards my financial and career goals and ofcourse, I’m not the size 5/6 I was in HS and I’m single. So, yes, being approached and asked about the titles, accomplishments, personal life etc…makes me feel like it’s more of a show of what you are not a true appreciation of who you are and how you’re doing. However, even with all my excuses, I know it is my fear that’s leading this parade. So, I told my friend I’d go and I told myself I’d go, but the jitters are still there, however, I wouldn’t be moving forward if I didn’t face this fear. And that’s what its about for me facing a fear. I really don’t want to see anyone, but I need to face this fear. I really am not interested in who got married, who made it big, who did what, but I need to face this fear. And you never know, it may just even be fun….so I tell myself! Pray for me 🙂

    • Kathleen Chelquist

      Often times when I go through my fear, it is not half as hard as my mind projected. And sometimes not hard at all. My mind can definitely make up some crazy stories when I am not disciplining myself in choosing love. Choose love and your experience will be amazing. I promise! And I will definitely pray for you, Iva! BIG LOVE, Kathleen

  • Nicole

    Thanks for this post. I plan to go to my reunion. Haven’t attended one in 15 years. What is so meaningful for me is that no matter how long it has been since we’ve been together, we welcome one another with open arms and invite them into our lives albeit for a short time. The connections we made in our youth transcend time or experience. They are embedded in our hearts with a longing to return and connect.

    • Kathleen Chelquist

      Thanks Nicole! It is around the corner and I am looking forward to reminiscing and keeping it REAL! All my love to you!

  • Tanja Erickson

    LOOOOVE this blog!!!!!! Looking forward to my reunion and the opportunity to remember my innocence then AND now! Many thanks…so well written:)

    • Kathleen Chelquist

      THANK YOU!!! XO

  • Estee

    Oh the Reunion….This year is my 20th year since that Graduation Day – funny thing is, there is no reunion planned, being planned…. I’ve seen a few posts on facebook – ‘are we having a 20 year?’ and no one has ventured to say ‘yes’ or ‘let’s plan one’, including me. I dared not to ask with the fear I would get the, ‘why don’t you plan it?’…. Am I disappointed? Yes and no for all the same reasons you have talked about. Clearly, my Class of 93 must have all the same mixed emotions and fears – I think you hit this one right on! Thanks, as always, for sharing and being so raw and honest. Love your posts!!!

    • Kathleen Chelquist

      Thanks Estee for all of your love and commenting. XO, Kathleen

  • TVJackieM

    I told my High School to put me on the DO NOT CONTACT list for reunions. Why would I revisit the past? If I wanted those people in my life still I would never have lost touch.

  • I’ve only gone to (or had) one reunion. Even though it’s going on 20 years (OMG 20 YEARS?!?) since I graduated (1996). I don’t remember if we had the reunion after 5 or 10 years. I’m thinking 10. So I’m expecting one at 20. Anyway, I went. And I admit, my motivation for going was to show THEM how I’D changed. In high school I was the quiet, studious girl. I didn’t DO much of anything but get good grades. I did go to sporting events (and watched most of them) with my friends. But I was known for being super quiet. At least among people who didn’t know me well, which was pretty much everyone in my class (my best friend was a grade below me). I didn’t “come into my own” until after high school. I’ve always been a late-bloomer. And I actually looked forward (albeit nervously) for my 10-year reunion so I could look hot and exude my new confidence. Lol. (hello, ego!) It ended up going alright. I saw some people I was friends with in high school, then lost touch with. It was a little awkward. But I’m already wondering how my 20-year will go. For one, I’m in a relationship with someone I went to high school with (we were even in the same class), but we weren’t friends in high school. Just had different interests and social circles at the time. And honestly I think people will be surprised that the two of us are together. Though we’re actually a great match. But even as I say that, I hear my ego acting up again. I think reunions are the ego’s favorite activity. So the trick will be if we can go, and still be Open in Love and live in Love… not ego. Kathleen, you’ll have to report back to us how it goes! 🙂


    • Kathleen Chelquist

      Thanks Sarah for commenting. I will definitely report back, and I know it will be a great opportunity to be what I want to see. My intention is to be…me. The real me. I am willing to stay open and serve love; to be a mirror to those who take the time to notice. I skipped the 5 year, but went to 10 and 20. This will be very different for me. What a difference 5 years makes! XO

  • jessie

    love this blog !! What an opportunity !! the Great Maya Angelou say’s when you learn…… teach , When you get ….give !! when you know better…. you do better !!! The fabulous gift in you is you share your wisdom and want the world to have it too!! Go share the love sis <3

    • Kathleen Chelquist

      Every time Maya Angelou says that, my heart leaps with a YES!!! Thanks Jessie! LOVE YOU!

  • Karen Elaine Parsons

    Although it wasn’t easy, I have made the decision not to attend my upcoming 40th HS reunion. I have every reason to go and “show off” as I have a successful career, happy marriage and a wonderful life but there is no other reason to go than that, and that’s just not enough. So, I am saving my money and precious time and will take a trip to see my grandchildren, which is long overdue! Thank you for writing about this subject and I thoroughly enjoyed your post!

  • Leasia

    I wrestled over whether or not I should attend my HS reunion. I decided against it mainly because “they” decided to make plans at the last minute and I don’t want to spend tons of money traveling for a 2 day reunion.

  • Ugly Duck

    And then there are those who were bullied so incessantly that 30 years later they still cannot function confidently in general society! I for one will NOT be going to any reunions ever. To be reminded of what these people put me through? Hell no!