I have never been to a college reunion. Not sure why not, maybe because my involvement was minimal. I was far too young when I attended college, even younger when I graduated. Maybe some 17- 18- 19-year-olds know what they want to do with the rest (or most) of their lives. Or at least have some specific interest with which to put their parents’ tuition payments to good use. Not me. I had no idea. Coasted through high school enjoying the occasional English teacher’s pat on the head for a particularly perceptive essay. Probably random. I did not excel at either math or any science, things which are pecuniarily useful. I did love to read and would analyze or critique but, being immature, agonized over the “right” bias or slant, so would often return a paper with such broad, vague sweeping statements there was really no focal point at all. And often my initial reaction or thoughts would be pretty sharp, but that insecurity shadowing me forbade me reveal my inmost thoughts.
So college. That freedom did not entrance me. When my parents left me at the dorm that rainy Sunday to return home, 600 miles away, I wept. My first roommate terrified me. She jumped into the liberal part of arts with both feet. She never went to classes, and I spent most of my first semester nights on the common room couch, waiting either for the funky smoke to clear or the boyfriend to leave or both. When she flunked out before second semester I became an intern, a sort of floor monitor. So basically I only knew the other housing staff members because we were more or less seen as police officers extinguishing all sorts of fun and frolic since we were paid by the college to do so.
But I did go to a high school reunion, my 25th. There were a handful of us there out of a class of 29, and we all were really glad to see each other. I have another one coming up, a much bigger number, and the names of many who are emailing are foreign or even unknown to me. These must be would-have-been classmates had they actually stayed and graduated with our class. Since I came in the 11th grade many of these were names I had never heard but seem familiar to a few of those I did know. So no, I won’t attend this one. It would be like going to a reunion for a class I never even knew. That would all but nullify my less-than solid connection to the ephemeral 2-years I enjoyed at a high school that completely changed my life for the better. I’d rather hold onto the wonderful memories I do have than fling them to those who had nothing to do with them.