Tips for Attending Your High School Reunion

Ah, high school reunions—a time to catch up with old friends, relive old memories, and possibly cringe at old yearbook photos. But don’t let the nerves get the best of you! Whether it’s your 10-year, 20-year or 50-year, here are some of my best tips and ideas to make your class reunion experience unforgettable (in a good way).

Best Ideas and Tips to Prepare for Your High School Reunion (and Wow Your Class!)

Best Ideas and Tips to Prepare for Your High School Reunion (and Wow Your Class!)

Should you attend your high school reunion?

Deciding whether or not to attend your high school reunion can be a tough call. On the one hand, it can be a chance to reconnect with old friends and reminisce about the good old days. On the other hand, it can dredge up old rivalries and insecurities.

Ultimately, the decision to attend depends on your personal feelings and circumstances. If you’re curious and open to the idea, it’s worth giving it a try. It might even be a chance to bring closure to bad memories and experiences. Whatever you decide, try to not let fear make that decision for you (hopefully our tips below can help with that!).  

Of course if you have prior commitments, it’s perfectly okay to skip it.

High School Reunion

What do you wear to your high school reunion?

When it comes to dressing for your high school reunion, the key is to strike a balance between looking put-together and feeling comfortable. You want to dress to impress and look your best without going over the top. A safe bet is to go for a classic, timeless outfit that flatters your figure and reflects your personal style.

For women, a little black dress or a chic blouse with tailored pants can do the trick, while men can never go wrong with a well-fitted suit or a smart button-down shirt with dress pants. And don’t forget to accessorize with a statement piece of jewelry or a stylish watch to complete the look.

Be sure to ask as well if there will be a theme or dress code for the reunion before selecting your outfit.

For the ladies, if you are looking for a super hot dress Revolve and Free People have some of my favorites. For men, Banana Republic has some snazzy stuff that would be good for casual reunions as well as fancy once.

Reunion Planning Ideas

If you volunteer to help set up and organize your high school reunion, here are a few ideas that can be a fun and memorable event for everyone.

  • One idea is to theme the reunion around a particular decade or era, complete with music, decorations, and food that evoke that time period.
  •  Another idea is to organize a friendly competition, such as a trivia contest or a scavenger hunt, to get everyone involved and energized. 
  • You can also consider setting up photo booths or hiring a DJ to keep the party going.

Whatever you decide, make sure to plan ahead, involve other alumni in the planning process, and keep the focus on creating a fun and welcoming atmosphere for all attendees.

Helping to plan the class reunion is a great way to calm the nerves a little before attending it since you will be hanging out with some of your former classmates beforehand.

Tips for Attending Your High School Class Reunion

Attending a high school class reunion can be a nostalgic and exciting experience, providing an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and reminisce about the good old days.

However, it can also be a bit daunting to attend an event where you may not have seen some of your former classmates for years, or even decades. But fear not! We’ve put together some tips and ideas to help you make the most out of your reunion:

Be Yourself

One of the most important things to keep in mind when attending a high school class reunion is being yourself. It can be tempting to put on a persona or try to impress others, but remember that everyone is in the same boat and most people are just looking to reconnect and catch up.

By embracing who you are, you allow others to see the authentic, genuine you. You may even be surprised to find that others appreciate you more for being true to yourself.

High School Reunion

Don’t Brag

While it’s natural to want to share your accomplishments and successes, it’s important to do so in a humble and modest manner. Remember that everyone is at different stages in their lives, and comparing yourself to others can create unnecessary tension or discomfort. Instead, focus on enjoying the moment and sharing genuine interest in what others have been up to.

Wear Your Name Tag

One simple yet effective tip for attending your high school class reunion is to wear your name tag. Even if you think you’ll remember everyone’s name (or they’ll remember yours), it’s easy to forget over time, especially if you haven’t seen them in years.

Wearing a name tag not only helps others remember your name, but it also makes it easier for you to strike up conversations and avoid any awkward moments of forgetting someone’s name. Plus, it can be a great conversation starter to ask someone about their high school nickname or catch up on old memories. 

Go Easy on the Alcohol

While it may be tempting to indulge in alcohol at the event, it’s important to go easy on the drinks. Drinking too much can impair your judgment and lead to embarrassing or regrettable behavior, which can ruin the positive vibe of the reunion. Remember that you’re there to catch up with old friends, not to get drunk.

Consider limiting your alcohol intake, alternating alcoholic drinks with water, or even avoiding alcohol altogether. This way, you can stay present in the moment and create lasting memories without any alcohol-related mishaps.

Go Easy on the Alcohol

Have a List of Icebreaker Questions Ready

It can be intimidating to strike up a conversation with someone you haven’t seen in years, and having a few conversation starters in mind can help break the ice and get the ball rolling. Consider asking about their current job, family, or hobbies, or reminiscing about old memories and inside jokes from high school.

It’s also a good idea to listen actively to what they say and show genuine interest in their responses. With a few good icebreaker questions up your sleeve, you can make new connections and reconnect with old friends with ease. 

Journal About What You’re Grateful For

Attending your high school class reunion can be a time to reflect on the past, but it can also be an opportunity to focus on the present and future.

One way to do this is to journal about what you’re grateful for before and after the reunion. By taking a few moments to reflect on the people and experiences in your life that bring you joy, you can approach the reunion with a positive and grateful mindset.

Journaling after the reunion can also help you process any emotions that came up during the event and solidify your memories of the experience. Whether it’s a physical journal or a digital one, taking time to reflect on what you’re grateful for can help you cultivate a sense of appreciation and contentment.

If you have a hard time coming up gratitude ideas, see our: 100 Things to Be Thankful For Today article.

Leave Your Grudges At the Door

High school can be a time of drama and conflict, but it’s important to remember that everyone has grown and changed since then. Holding onto grudges or negative feelings towards former classmates can create tension and detract from the positive experience of reconnecting with old friends.

Instead, try to approach the reunion with an open mind and a willingness to let bygones be bygones. Focus on enjoying the present moment and creating new memories, rather than dwelling on the past. By leaving your grudges at the door, you can create a more positive and fulfilling experience for yourself and those around you.

Try to Relax (& Laugh More)

It can be easy to feel on edge or anxious about seeing old friends and acquaintances, but remember that everyone is probably feeling the same way. Take a deep breath, let go of any stress or worries, and try to enjoy the moment. Laughter is a great way to ease tension and connect with others, so don’t be afraid to crack a joke or share a funny memory.

Additionally, try to be present in the moment and enjoy the company of those around you, rather than getting caught up in your own thoughts or concerns. By relaxing and laughing more, you can create a more positive and enjoyable reunion experience for yourself and those around you.

Make Plans To Go With A Partner or Friend

Feeling nervous about attending your high school class reunion alone? One helpful tip is to make plans to go with a partner or a friend (possibly from high school as well). 

Having someone you trust by your side can help alleviate any anxiety and make the experience more enjoyable. Plus, having a companion can give you someone to talk to, share memories with, and navigate the event with. Try to coordinate with a friend or group of friends to meet up somewhere beforehand and attend the reunion together. 

If you’re thinking that bringing your significant other with you might be awkward, more often than not your high school buddies will probably be bringing their partners as well. You can probably think of it as a chance for your partner to know more about your past and meet new friends. 

Annette and Pete on a Highschool Reunion

Peruse Your Old Yearbook Before You Go

Remembering classmates at your 10 or 20 year reunion, may be a whole lot easier than at your 40 or 50 year one, so be prepared by flipping through your old yearbook. 

Taking a trip down memory lane and looking through old photos and messages can help jog your memory and prepare you for seeing old classmates. What’s more, it can be fun to reminisce about old memories and stories before attending the reunion, which can help build excitement and anticipation for the event. 

As you look through your yearbook, take note of any names or faces that you want to make sure to reconnect with at the reunion.

Reach Out Ahead of Time

Another helpful tip for attending your high school class reunion is to reach out to your old classmates or friends ahead of time. With how connected we are in today’s world, it’s now easier to connect with them before the event through social media or even via email.

This can also help break the ice and create a sense of familiarity before you see them in person. Additionally, reaching out to them ahead of time can help you gauge interest and get a sense of who else will be attending.

Reconnect with Friends

I think you can agree with me that one of the main reasons to attend your high school class reunion is the chance to reconnect with old friends. Make a list of the people you want to catch up with and make sure to seek them out during the event. Be open to meeting new people as well, but prioritize spending time with the friends who made a significant impact on your life during high school.

During your conversations, ask about their families, careers, hobbies, and other interests. Avoid getting too caught up in reminiscing about high school and focus on what they have been up to since then. By reconnecting with old friends, you can relive old memories, create new ones, and strengthen bonds that have stood the test of time.

Annette and Pete at High School Reunion

Remember Who You Are Today

As you prepare to attend your class reunion, it’s important to remember who you are today. It can be easy to slip back into old patterns or try to impress others by portraying yourself as someone you’re not.

However, it’s important to stay true to yourself and let your authentic self shine through. You have likely grown and changed since high school, so don’t be afraid to share your current interests and experiences with others.

Remember that everyone has their own unique journey, and there is no need to compare yourself to others or feel inadequate. Embrace who you are today, and share that person with your old classmates.

Snack Before You Go

Attending a reunion can be a long and tiring experience, especially if you’re catching up with a lot of people or doing lots of dancing. Eating a healthy snack before the event can help keep your energy levels up and prevent you from feeling hungry or irritable.

Consider packing a small snack like a granola bar or a piece of fruit to eat either on the way to the reunion or even while you are there. Additionally, staying hydrated is important, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water.

Thank Your High School Reunion Organizer

Organizing a reunion can be a challenging and time-consuming task, which is why it’s important to remember to thank the person or group of people who planned the event for their efforts. Consider sending a thank you note or email to the organizer before or after the reunion, expressing your gratitude for all of their hard work.

If possible take a moment to thank the organizer in person at the event. By showing your appreciation, you can make the organizer feel valued and encouraged to plan future reunions.

High School Reunion

Practice Your Dance Moves Beforehand

If you’re planning to hit the dance floor at your high school reunion, it might be a good idea to practice your moves beforehand. After all, it’s been a while since you’ve had a high school dance, and you don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of your old classmates!

Consider taking a dance class or even just practicing in front of a mirror to brush up on your skills. 

My 20-Year High School Reunion

For this 20 year high school reunion I thought if I could get a good group of core friends to go, what could be the harm. If nothing else, it would be a great opportunity to get dressed up, eat a fine meal and hang out with the people who I still kept in touch with.

We ended up with a group of about 8 core friends to attend the 20 year high school reunion, I felt safe with that. At least one of them should be easy to locate in a crowded room if I needed a friendly face.

Annette and Pete at a high school reunion with friends

The best thing my class did was organize a pre-reunion get together at a local bar. It was a great opportunity to be reacquainted with people on a smaller scale. Thanks to the wonders of Facebook and I guess different search engines that allow you to search for people using very little information, there were about 40 of the 250 classmates that showed up to the day before party. Fun!

The night of the big event was a bit overwhelming, yet fantastic. I was so surprised when it was time to leave and there were still people that I hadn’t been able to catch up with. The best part is that with the combination of the reunion and Facebook, it has opened up endless friendship and event opportunities.

Annette and Pete at a High School Reunion

So, dust off your old yearbook, put on your dancing shoes, and get ready for a night of fun and nostalgia at your high school reunion. Who knows, you might even leave with a new appreciation for your high school days (or at least a killer dance move or two).


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2 thoughts on “Tips for Attending Your High School Reunion”

  1. I haven’t yet reached my twenty-year reunion mark, but almost. I was a lot like you, from the sounds of it. I was quiet and shy and was on the outskirts of any group. I was always thought to be “nice” by my classmates, but not much more than that. It was only the other night that I had the opportunity to attend a reunion of sorts, in the form of an old friend’s wedding reception. Here is my post about it:
    Facebook is exactly how I’ve gotten and kept in touch with many of these people. It’s nice to keep that connection to the person you used to be as time moves forward constantly.

    • Let me start by saying that you are a talented writer. I was completely drawn in by your “Sherry Baby” story. Facebook has been a fabulous way to stay connected with classmates. What has surprised me the most is that I typically communicate more now with the ones that I never spoke to in high school!


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Annette White the Owner of Bucket List Journey
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