The schools you attended as a young person are woven into your adult identity. Throughout their lives, people feel a sense of identity with their school. The formative years of adulthood are spent at school. It is where we meet our friends, are inspired by great teachers, and learn about a world beyond our experience. Bonds between strangers are formed on the basis that they attended the same school.
Therefore, alumni members are brand ambassadors of their former schools. Their conduct, acts of omission and commission reflect on their schools. For some reasons, some people have mixed feelings about attending reunions.
For such people, reunions bring up old memories of unpleasant experiences. Lack of achievements, low self-esteem and feeling of embarrassment of physical appearance are also some of the reasons why some people feel reluctant to attend reunions of their schools.
School reunions also present financial and logistical problems. However, there are many good reasons why alumni associations and reunions are important.
After high school, chances are that you have not seen that friend in years and may even have totally lost contact. Even though that modern technology like mobile telephones, WhatsApp and Instagram offer opportunities for communication, but there is nothing more like physical contact. Thus, few events offer a great opportunity to re-connect with high school friends like reunions and chances are that you may never see them again if you miss attending.
Again, dealing with gray hairs and fine lines is not psychologically easy, particularly for women. But when you arrive at a reunion and realize that everyone is getting older, it can make the experience less isolating. So attending reunions and mingling help you to come to terms with the fact that aging is an inevitable part of life.
If you suffered through high school and have since built a wonderful and rewarding life, despite the unpleasant experiences in school, reunions offer you an opportunity to show off your success, perhaps, to the people that treated you badly.
While some people had unpleasant experiences, some reveled in the experience. Reliving these old times and sharing jokes and laughs with high school friends can be very rewarding.
Attending your high school reunion can afford you some networking opportunities that will help you professionally. Equally, attending with your spouse or fiancée is a great way to share an important part of your formative years. This makes for stronger bonding with your spouse.
No doubt, Social media posts are not real conversations. Sharing pictures on social media are not the same as seeing physically and having real conversations and animating the room with hearty laughs.
If you have wondered where that prankster or dullard in your class ended up and what has he or she done with his or her life, reunions offer you an opportunity to satisfy such curiosity. Furthermore, High school reunions offer you the chance to dance the night away. You would be surrounded by people of your own age, rocking to ‘old school’ songs you have not heard in years.
Above all, alumni are a valuable resource to their schools. They help to build and sustain humanity through their schools in diverse ways. The school is what the alumni have in common and therefore plays a central role in ensuring that alumni keep in touch with what is happening in their school. Strong and active alumni body help to uplift the infrastructure in the school. The classic example of College of Immaculate Conception (CIC), Enugu is telling.
People should, therefore, be proud of their past and reunite to relive their experiences and contribute their quota to their school’s growth.
WRITTEN BY CHIEF TONY ONYIMA