10 Things You Should Do Before Attending Your High School Reunion

My 10-year high school reunion is rapidly approaching, and everyone keeps asking the elusive question, “Are you going?” I’ve had nine and a half years to decide whether or not I should return to my alma mater, but I still have not made up my mind. However, I must admit that I’ve always leaned more towards “Nay” than “Yea,” simply because I only have one friend from high school and consider everyone else acquaintances. Besides, high school is like a fish bowl, so unless you were the captain of the football team, a member of the cheerleading squad, or the valedictorian (neither of which I was), chances are you didn’t consider those four years to be the highlight of your life. That said, I would like to offer some advice to those who plan to revisit the place they considered torturous for four years.

Let’s face it, many people desire to reunite with their former classmates simply so that they can: A) Brag about how great their life is; B) Get a kick out of discovering that the handsome jock and former prom queen have gained excessive amounts of weight; and C) Feel gratified in knowing that some people’s lives have turned out to be just as bleak as theirs. Taking those three points into consideration, I have compiled a list of the top 10 things everyone should do before attending their high school reunion:

1. Reach your goal weight:
This is a no-brainer. As much as we hate to admit it, looks do matter, and everyone will be dying to see what you look like after 10 years of being out in the real world. Be confident in knowing that people will be talking about how fabulous you look, rather than how humongous your backside has become.

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2. Have a career: I don’t care if you’re a master basket weaver, have a title, if not a business card to offer someone when they ask, “What do you do for a living?” Sure, everyone may not be in the field of their dreams by the time their reunion rolls around, but whatever your profession or career goals, be confident in asserting your expertise at something. Real jerks smell insecurity.

3. Watch CNN: Since I realize that everyone does not read the newspaper (or read period), and the average American watches five to seven hours of television each day, you should make it a point to tune in to CNN every once in a while. This news station will provide you with adequate information on politics, global affairs, and local news so that you can facilitate a discussion on topics that showcase your intellectual side. After all, you would hate for people to think that even as an adult, the only news you follow is that of Brad and Angelina’s plans to save the world, or Paris Hilton’s latest fashion craze.

4. Become a volunteer: Prove to everyone, mainly yourself, that you are not the selfish jerk they thought you were in high school. Become a big brother, big sister, or regularly contribute to some sort of community organization by donating your time and energy to a good cause. Plus, if you don’t have the career of your dreams, at least you can talk about other things you are passionate about.

5. Go Skydiving: Okay, so maybe you don’t have to go skydiving, but do something adventurous that will make you seem incredibly interesting and daring to your colleagues. That way, if you don’t have a career or any affiliations to speak of, at least you can say that you wrestled an 800 pound alligator. How many people can say they’ve done that?

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6. Get married: Although this option may not be for everyone, we all know that having a career and getting married are just two components of the American dream. Having children is another, but since that is truly for the brave at heart, I’ll stop at getting married. If you don’t have a banging career to brag about, at least you can show off your spouse to all your single, forlorn colleagues.

7. Buy a house: Owning property truly says that you have arrived, as many are still struggling to reach some level of financial stability well into their thirties. Thus, if you own a house, all your former classmates will undoubtedly be jealous of how successful you’ve become, and you’ll leave the reunion feeling reassured that your fixer-upper truly is a great investment.

8. Find a sophisticated drink that you like: I’m not a big drinker, but I do know which drinks I like and which drinks I don’t like. More importantly, I know which drinks will make me look sophisticated. A cosmopolitan, yes. A Heineken, not so much. Therefore, if you’re not a social butterfly and don’t know how to break the ice with the people who made your life miserable for four years, at least you’ll look as though you have a lot of interesting and intelligent things to say as you stand in the corner, nursing your drink all night.

9. Order business/personal cards: In case you decide that you actually want to keep in touch with colleagues you’ve lost touch with over the years, have business cards readily available to pass out. However, if you are a master basket weaver and would rather not share your business information, have personal cards containing your name, motto, and at least a working email address, if not your real phone number. Since networking is one of the most powerful job tools, exchanging information with others may enable you to walk away with some interesting job leads.

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10. Get a professional massage: Let’s face it, even if you are the CEO of a major corporation, married and own a house, attending your high school reunion can be stressful. All eyes will be on you, as your former classmates will undoubtedly want to know what you’ve done with yourself over the years, whether they liked you or not. Thus, try your best to relax so that you can be yourself. Everyone knows that a relaxing, professional massage is just the thing to do the trick!