My 10 Year High School Reunion Experience with Social Anxiety
If you have social anxiety, going to your 10 year high school reunion can seem a little daunting. I didn’t want to let that stop me from experiencing this event. In this post I wanted to share 10 tips/thoughts from my experience at my 10 year high school reunion.
1. Not everyone is going to go. Prep yourself if your comfort zone will not be there. I knew ahead of time that a majority of my friends were not going, which was a bummer. If that’s the case, have questions and conversation starters ready for people you don’t know as well. People love to talk about themselves, so let them do all the heavy work with the conversation.
2. Things will get awkward, especially with those you are friends with on Facebook. This was kind of weird. There are some people I’m now friends on Facebook with that I was not friends with in high school. So it’s even more weird when you don’t really interact in person.
3. Not everyone will remember you. I was the shy and quiet one in high school. So clearly a lot of people did not know who I was. At the event, many even called me by a different name. If it happens, IT’S OK. Laugh about it because now it’s just a funny story.
4. It’s ok if you don’t have your shit together. Don’t worry if you feel that you’re not where you want to be in life. There were so many people there who were much further in their careers, relationships, etc. Comparison is the thief of joy. It’s ok if you’re not at that level. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished so far.
5. Cliques still exist, but thankfully everyone’s much more welcoming. Everyone naturally went straight to their high school squad. But the beauty of it is that time made everyone grow up and become way nicer.
6. There will be one or two not so welcoming people. So try not to slap them.
7. It’s just as easy to get along with your squad, even if it’s been years. This I was thankful for. You’re friends were accepting then, and will always be accepting now.
8. Give yourself a “social” goal. My goal was to make 3 new friends. I didn’t force it, I made sure to be myself and focus on accomplishing that goal. With a little help of liquid courage, it was surprisingly a lot easier than I’d thought.
9. Your fears are only amplified by your anxiety. It’s fine. You’re fine. People are not judging you. Everyone is there to mingle, reminisce, and have a good time. Focus on your good times with your good friends.
10. It’s ok if you get overwhelmed. I went to the bathroom about 7 times and made 3 phone calls to calm down. Do what ever you need to do to keep calm and carry on. Once you’re calm and collected, it’ll get easier to mingle with your old class mates.
At the end of the day, you should not let your social anxiety stop you from going to an event like your 10 year high school reunion. Be prepared, embrace your awkward side, concur your fears, and take it one step at a time. I’m glad I did :).