’tis the season for high school reunions! If you’re headed in that direction, consider these tips and stay grounded before the big event. I offered up these suggestions for PARADE.com in 2016, and they’ve withstood the test of time. Happy Reunions!
1. Don’t fall prey to “Facebook Envy”— be armed with realism. Real life isn’t great soundbites and airbrushed photos. From a distance, and with some spin, anyone can look fabulous. Whether it’s self-esteem, relationships or career-related situations, most of us are working on something. And if we’re not, we probably should be. Money can’t buy love or happiness. And the most content person in the room isn’t necessarily the rock star.
2. Don’t dress to impress the ex. Check the dress code, then wear what fits the bill AND makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. Looking your best is one thing. Squeezing into an outfit that takes your breath away is a health hazard.
3. Focus on catching up, not falling back. We’ve all changed. And we all have a few things in our past that we’d like to forget. Reunions don’t mean you have to drag up the sordid past. Leave the petty high school attitude at the door and maintain a judgement-free zone. Work the room if you’re comfortable and give everyone a chance to be part of your circle.
4. Ask questions. Lots has happened since graduation. Take the time to catch up and learn from former peers. Networking can open doors to new relationships and opportunities.
5. Beware of alcohol intake. You may want to party like it’s 1999, but the side effects won’t be pretty. Practice moderation and you’ll be glad you acted more like a chaperone than the out-of-control kid in the morning. Drive safely and have fun!