Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Letter To My Old School Classmates

Dear Class of '85,

Our 25th school reunion was last night.  I didn't go, didn't want to, but have just seen some photos of you on Facebook.  I feel ill, seriously, physically ill.  Why?  Good question.

While it's true that I hated high school for the first few weeks, once I got past the massive change from a tiny country school to a large local high school and found a few friends, I didn't mind school so much.  So why are these awkward, uneasy feelings bubbling up now....25 years later??

Being my own therapist here, I'd suggest it's because of the way a lot of you made me feel...or, to be more precise, the way I felt around a lot of you.  I felt inferior, unpopular and totally not trendy.

I don't actually feel any of those things anymore but when I saw so many of your faces in those photographs, those feelings came rushing back and hit me with such a force my head was literally spinning and I felt sick to my stomach.

A lot of you were very nice kids and I would have loved to have seen those of you that I used to hang out with again.  But your faces were not in the photos, I wonder why??  There were two faces I saw that made me smile, the rest just made me shake my head and thank God I did not go.

I am quite sure it was not the intention of most of you to make me feel this way.  I am equally sure most of you never gave me enough thought to even consider it. 

I'm glad you all had a great night at the reunion.  I'll try to get over my hangups, but to be honest, some things just never change.  Don't expect to see me at the 40th reunion. 

Have a nice life,



  1. hmm I'm with you. My 20th reunion is coming up in 2 months time & i'm not attending for the same reasons. Like you, my best days are in front of me, not back then at school. I pity some of them peaking so soon.

  2. and here I was thinking you'd let fly at them :) You were very gentle.

  3. I ignored my 10th anniversary many years ago. When i was reconnecting on facebook i found a few people that i wanted to contact but most of them, similar to you made me feel sick.

    Think it might be the practical jokes that they used to play on me like covering my lock with squished nutella sandwich.

    I was a square, too cerebral for the meat heads there at my school. But I got out of there without a drug conviction and all my brain cells.

    I won't be going to any of my reunions either.

  4. I'm sad for you that even a photo can bring back such horrible feelings. Just keep remembering how fabulous you are, what a fantastic life you lead and how you are a long way from that insecure, awkward schoolgirl. xx

  5. PS - I'm loving the new pink background!

  6. Kids are cruel, but the worst ones grow to be cruel adults and I think you are right to feel that way. Just a note though, ones that I thought didnt like me, didnt notice me and didnt care have all added me on facebook and actually see as though they cared more than I thought. They all say hi and I feel like I'm not a freak. It was all in my head.

  7. felt the same way about going to my 20 year reunion last year. I think I may have chatted with you Twitter about it and included a link to an Alain de Botton talk (where I seem to recall he advised not going to reunions).

    I did go to my reunion and was very glad I did. I was worried that all those negative feelings from high school would come back, but I ended up feeling very liberated. I think I may have even told a friend that the whole experience was somewhat of an epiphany for me.

    After years of looking back on high school as a time of flat-lining self-esteem and social awkwardness (at best), going to my reunion helped me to really be able to acknowledge that my life now was wonderful and whether this group of people did or didn't think well of me didn't really matter.

    For me, attending the reunion really set me free. I'm not saying that everyone would need to go to feel that way, but working through the process of whether to attend or not and then actually going helped me to face lots of things that had been hanging in the background for many years.

    Given the sense of freedom, I really enjoyed my reunion. That's not to say that I'd want to catch up with these people every week (or even every 5 years), but I did reconnect with some great people that I'd forgotten I'd known and caught up with a guy I'd attended school with from kindy to year 12, even though we'd never been close friends.

    I'm sorry that your reunion, attended or not, left you feeling so bad. I hope that the day will come when you can look back on those years without the negative feelings that you're experiencing now.

  8. I am so sorry that you felt like that during High School, I loved going to the school I went to, but have never been to a reunion which seems strange. I have no bad feelings but just don't need to go back to the past when my way is forward. I am glad you made the choice you did if seeing the photos brings back these horrible memories. Hugs xx

  9. I'm with you, I wouldn't go either. It's kinda the reason I am not on either. Don't wanna get dragged into highschool reunions on there!

  10. Oh, I hate that these pictures made you feel this way. I think with the presence of facebook these days, we really don't need reunions anymore. Everyone we really cared about and want to catch up with, is right there on the internet! We can weed out all the bullys, and still get caught up with the people who really mattered!

    Glad you feel you made the right decision in not going! Hope you get past this soon!! Hugs!

  11. Wow! Things look a bit different around here! Looks great lady! Well here, here I say! I am sorry to hear that your High School memories were not all happy ones, but don't you love Facebook so you can see how everyone looks and you didn't have to go to see it for your own two eyes. Yay for internet social networking !!

  12. I've been waiting to hear back from you on the location. But I just spotted your sons uniform below.

    That totally gave away the current location. Very cool. We probably know the same people. Somewhere along the line.

  13. Know how you feel and felt. There isn't enough money in the world to drag me to mine when it comes up. Not interested. I could care less what happened to most of them. the ones I care about I keep in touch with. The rest. Not so much! And you can quote me on it!

  14. I am equally sure most of you never gave me enough thought to even consider it.

    For me, that line sums up high school. Sure, there were those who purposely bullied other kids, or were cruel, but for the most part kids just don't think about anybody but themselves. Unfortunately the exceptions are few and far between.

    I have a handful of friends from high school that I keep in regular contact with via e-mail and facebook, but I never had a desire to go back for a reunion.

  15. I totally get where you are coming from. I missed my 10 year reunion, I had a baby due. But I was glad. I didn't want to go and feel the same old you're cool/ I'm not division.

  16. I don't plan on going to any of my reunions. Firstly, with the way Facebook is, if I want to know about anyone I can just add them as a friend. And second, I just don't have any want to relive that time in my life. It wasn't HORRIBLE or anything but it is in the past and I prefer it to stay that way.

    I totally get where you're coming from.

  17. Thea, I felt pretty much the same way at school. For me I was always an outsider. I never seemed to be interested in what everyone else was interested in. I felt like a square peg who didn't fit into the round hole everyone else seemed to slot so nicely into. Because of this a number of people teased me for my individuality so late high school became unbearable and I found every excuse not to go. You won't catch me dead at any of the reunions - why would I want to relive and remember such a horrible time of my life like that.

  18. At my 10 year reunion, it felt a bit cliquey and I didn't enjoy it that much. At my 20 year reunion, I had a blast! Why? Because by that stage we'd all grown up, and it didn't matter anymore who was popular and who wasn't. I also didn't want to waste a minute and caught up with so many people ... I didn't worry if we'd been in the same crowd or not at school. Only one girl snobbed me off and looked at me like I'd crawled out from under a rock, but I figure that's her problem not mine (especially as she was propping up the bar with some of the blokes - says a lot I think!). There was a bit of a catch up last year rather than a full scale reunion, as it was 26 years after we graduated, but this time I didn't feel like going so I didn't. Maybe next time - and maybe not. I'm just glad I have good memories of the last one, especially when I hear about those who have already passed away :-(


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