On Aug. 9 I attended my first high school reunion, the big ‘ten year’ in Fargo.
Posted August 15, 2014
By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
On Aug. 9 I attended my first high school reunion, the big ‘ten year’ in Fargo. As a member of the Fargo North High Class of 2004 I sat on student council and I was a part of the committee that planned the reunion events. Since mid-February I have been attending bi-monthly meetings getting ready for this event. We met via video chat, a luxury that speaks to my generation and makes things easier for us than those in the past, and something we probably take for granted!
I have to admit, I was excited early in the process but as the date got closer I was overridden with bouts of anxiousness and uncertainty. Ticket sales weren’t as high as we had projected and the fear of putting together a low attended event left me worried we had let the class of 2004 down. There’s also always the fear that awkwardness is going to be too overwhelming to overcome, preventing everyone from enjoying the evening.
But I was blown away by how well the evening turned out.
Though we didn’t have as many classmates return as we would have liked, I feel the group that did attend gelled together great. The people that were there wanted to be there, and people that didn’t, weren’t forced into a situation some may not be comfortable with yet.
People still grouped together with their closer classmates, but nobody was left to sit by themselves or face an awkward moment that one would dread.
People floated around the venue, picking up conversations with one another as they meandered through the crowd. The food was good, the drinks were cold and after reintroducing yourself to everyone it became a relaxing atmosphere that allowed one another to catch up and reminisce.
As I sat and soaked in the event, I looked across the crowd and I thought about what had gone on in my life since the last time we were all roaming the halls of Fargo North together. I had been through four years of college, got married and relocated. I had a death in the family and changed career paths. It’s during this time, in my opinion, that people really find out who they are and where they’re going. You’re not completely settled, but you have an idea of where you want to be going. And it was interesting to think about the paths my classmates had taken to get to this point.
Most of us grew up together, attended church together, and whether or not we socialized together outside of school, we still got to know each other. More than I think people understand.
There were a fair amount of people I talked to with whom I attended school with since the first grade with. And even though 10 years had gone by, I still recognized everyone. When I say recognize, I’m not speaking on appearances only. Though you can change your look, your beliefs or your outlook on life itself, you still carry yourself the same way. You have the same mannerisms, same voice inflections and same sense of humor. You still share the same memories and inside jokes. It’s still you.
Interacting with my classmates also brought me a sense of relaxation. I know this sounds odd considering you need to ‘rebreak’ the ice with people you haven’t seen in a decade, but it brought me back to a time when I had little to no responsibilities. I had play rehearsal, small amounts of homework, and my part time job was for spending money. It wasn’t allocated for a mortgage, student loans or cell phone bills. And it certainly wasn’t neatly organized in an Excel spreadsheet labeled “monthly budget.”
Little did we know when we graduated, but life was about to hit us. Some went on to higher education and some went right into the work force. Whichever path you took, responsibilities came with it, it’s part of growing up and becoming an adult. But being in the presence of people I had known before that occurred, brought me back to simpler times.
Though it will probably be another 10 years before we see each other again, we’re all still a class.
We all shuffled through the same lunch line. We all checked books out of the same library, and we all walked down the same stage and shook the same principal’s hand in 2004.