Should you go to your college reunion?
I left college in 1990 and have not attended any reunions until this year. I did go back to pick up my Master of Arts and have always visited college on the sly but not as part of an organised event.
I was scared to go. The university I attended is a prestigious one and I have always felt a bit embarrassed that I did not perhaps live up to the potential I showed at that time. On a more shallow level, I did not like the way I looked and did not want people poking fun at me about that.
This year I felt the fear and did it anyway. Here are some of the more joyful moments about that weekend.
1. Having a brand new Jaguar to arrive at the event in. It was only borrowed but it was a treat to enjoy.
2. Touching college again. I love this place with a passion. Even the pavements outside excite me.
3. Recognising faces from the past even if I did not initially feel confident enough to approach them.
4. A hug from a girl who helped me settle into the place back in the day.
5. Realising that it was OK to not really take to a person but also that it was possible to be pleasant and move on.
6. Being mature enough that when it all got too much to escape but then to return later having given myself a firm talking to.
7. Texts from friends giving moral support.
8. Wearing a £3.99 charity shop dress. Ever the rebel.
9. Laughing when my son complained that the room I was staying in was not ensuite. “How do people live like this?” was his comment.
10. Diary Doll in case I got so excited that I wet myself.
11. Steeling myself to attend the pre-dinner drinks and then remembering how often I had done that when at college first time round. Recalling that nearly every event I had gone to at college had been great.
12. Approaching someone to chat. I always find this very much out of my comfort zone but it went OK. Why wouldn’t it?
13. Arriving in Hall for dinner and being so glad to be back. Seeing the names on the cards around me and knowing I was in for a fun evening. A lovely warm greeting from our Year Rep L.
14. Meet M again. He made me feel better at the Freshers’ Dinner in 1987 and that Northern accent worked its magic again.
15. A lovely greeting from J including a warm hug that made me feel so much better.
16. Being told by P that his impression of me back then was that I knew exactly what I was doing. Good to know.
17. Chatting to V for the first time ever and although we live different lives, spotting common feelings too.
18. Laughing at A has he was as incorrigible as ever delivering far too much wine to our table with aplomb.
19. The dinner itself, the wines and the port.
20. Being convinced by C that yes would go to the bar afterwards.
21. Not spending a penny all night long and yet enjoying lots of free drinks. Sorry guys – think I had a little too much!
22. Waking up in college for some lovely me time and personal thinking time.
23. Breakfast in college with people nursing sore heads and telling stories that I had not heard before.
24. My family being late to pick me up so that I could stand at the front of the college catching up with people I had missed and breathing in that magical place that is Trinity Hall, Cambridge.
25. Reflecting on it all afterwards and realising that I am OK and a very rich woman indeed and all the richer for attending this college reunion.