17 again – high school reunion

Grinning widely and stifling a giggle, I rose from my pew to the sounds of an organ playing our school anthem.

I may have been at my 20 year high school reunion, but the instant that song began, I felt 17 again.

As I stood with close to 100 of my ex-schoolmates in one of the most beautiful chapels in Brisbane, the memories came flooding back.

Memories of friendship, laughter, tears, school dances, Terrace boys, afternoon summer storms, sprinting for the train, the smell of wet jumpers, black scuff marks, living in fear of the nuns, warm rolls with tomato sauce and cheese, failing Maths, kicking butt at English, getting kicked out of English, braces, ruler fights …

The memories came thick and fast as I belted out our anthem with more pride and enthusiasm than ever before. (Although, ex-schoolmates if you’re reading, I have to say I was disappointed nobody changed up the chorus like we used to πŸ™‚ )

I felt myself wondering why I ever contemplated not attending the reunion. Why was I so nervous? Why had I texted my sister and sister-in-law a picture of me all dolled up before the reunion with the message, ‘so scared right now’?

As I walked through the gates of my old high school last Saturday, with my wing (wo)man by my side, there was no fear, only excitement.

It felt right to be there. It was important for me to be there. I was excited to be there.

Before long familiar faces came out of the woodwork. There was hugging and smiling and laughter and squealing. Everyone was pumped to see each other.

I hadn’t seen many of my old schoolmates since the day I left 20 years ago, yet they welcomed me with open arms, told me that I hadn’t changed a bit, and were genuinely interested in what I’ve been up to over the last two decades.

It filled me with happiness that I had made such a positive impact on so many, yet it also filled me with sadness. How and why did these friendships with such beautiful and remarkable women drift?

Whether or not this reunion was enough to reignite old friendships, I’m not sure. I do know that last Saturday I had the most fun I’ve had in ages.

I fell in with my old gang and we laughed and reminisced.

It was definitely one of those days that I will never forget and will hold close to my heart forever.

As our school captain and school principal reflected, while we only spent five years of our lives together, those were integral years, they helped shape us, and we formed bonds that will last a lifetime.

school-reunion

Have you ever been to any of your school reunions? What were they like?

Linking up today with the gorgeous Jess for IBOT.

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49 comments on 17 again – high school reunion

  1. cate
    August 5, 2014 at 7:16 am (3 years ago)

    my twenty year reunion was two years ago – I went, and fell into the old traps of being insignificant and unseen. It was a relief to walk out (although I would have loved to sing the school song again!) I *might* go to my 50yr reunion.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:05 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh sorry to hear about that, Cate πŸ™ Gosh, 50 year reunion! I can’t even think that far ahead πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    August 5, 2014 at 7:30 am (3 years ago)

    Oh what a lovely reunion! Sounds like heaps of fun! So nice to hear that you had such a great time with your old friends. I haven’t been to a school reunion but I soooo would! xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Lucy. It was heaps of fun and I will definitely go to the next one x

      Reply
  3. Amy
    August 5, 2014 at 8:42 am (3 years ago)

    Sounds like you had a great time! I’m luckily still in touch with many high school friends via facebook but it is always nice to catch up in person πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm (3 years ago)

      Facebook is the greatest invention for keeping in touch with people isn’t it?! There is nothing like catching up face to face though πŸ™‚

      Reply
  4. Fashionista
    August 5, 2014 at 8:44 am (3 years ago)

    My school holds a Reunion weekend every year and I went to my 10th and 20th (by far the BEST one) reunions but there wasn’t a volunteer to organise the 30th (last year) so I didn’t get back. However, six of my dearest friends are those who I met as a 12 year old on the first day of boarding school, and we get together at least every 2 years (if not annually if we can manage it). Logistics are a challenge as we are fairly scattered although at least now we are all residing in Australia. Our next long weekend is only 38 sleeps away (gives you an indication of the level of excitement that we are counting the sleeps!) and its purpose is to plan the event that will be our 50th birthday celebrations in two years time. Besides drinking buckets of good champagne and talking ourselves hoarse of course.

    You are correct, while it may have only been five years, they are the formative years. May you reconnect again.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh Judy! How lucky you are to have such special relationships with your friends. I think it’s great you make a point of catching up every couple of years. That 50th sounds like it’s going to be awesome!!! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  5. Me
    August 5, 2014 at 8:50 am (3 years ago)

    So glad you had such a good time. You wouldn’t catch me at a school reunion – not for quids !!! Not sure why but I have never been to one and now that we have moved countries, I can’t see me ever going back to attend one either !!!!
    Have the best day !
    Me xox

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm (3 years ago)

      I know a few people that feel that way. I definitely had mixed feelings, but am glad I made the decision I did. Hope you had a great day x

      Reply
  6. Claire
    August 5, 2014 at 9:40 am (3 years ago)

    I’m so glad you went. It was a pleasure to be your wing woman & catch up! Although none of my close friends were there it was amazing to catch up with everyone, and very nice to be welcomed with open arms by all. I can’t wait for our 25th!!
    Ps – I was also waiting for the revised chorus!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:11 pm (3 years ago)

      Claire, you are one hell of an awesome chick. So thankful you offered to meet up and hold my hand πŸ™‚ It was lovely seeing you. Can’t wait for the next one either, although maybe we should catch up before then! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. Fit Mother Hubbard
    August 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm (3 years ago)

    What a beautiful trip down memory lane Renee. Ah fear of the nuns, I remember that. You know, I turned up to my 20 year reunion, got back in my car & went home. I was terrified. Not sure why. Wish I’d gone now xxx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:12 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh Neets!!!! I can totally understand why you would have. On the drive in I was ready to pull out. It is the fear of the unknown I think. You will have to go to your 25th πŸ™‚ xx

      Reply
  8. Jo McMullen
    August 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Renee,
    I didn’t get to catch up with you but I had wanted to. Felt exactly the same about the reunion as you did. I was nervous, excited and hoping for name tags as it’s hard to recall everyone’s names after 20 years!! Knew every face though. It was the most fun I have had in many years and for that moment, that afternoon I too, felt 17 again. I was still scared of the Principle!! You describe the day so well. Love your blog.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:13 pm (3 years ago)

      Jo, thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it. It’s a real shame we didn’t get to talk. I saw you there, but the day went so fast. I didn’t want it to end. See you at the next one πŸ™‚

      Reply
  9. Zanni Louise
    August 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm (3 years ago)

    So glad you went and enjoyed it! I didn’t like high school, but I did enjoy going back for the reunion. Out of interest more as much as anything! x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:14 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh it’s such an interesting thing isn’t it?! Really surreal. I think I will be thinking about it for some time xx

      Reply
  10. Lara @ This Charming Mum
    August 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m so glad it turned out to be rewarding rather than scary! I went to mine too a couple of years ago and ended up reconnecting with a few people who were never in my ‘gang’ at school, but with whom I have lots in common now. Everyone’s high school experience is individual of course, but whether good or bad it is certainly formative! I’m really glad I went to mine.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:15 pm (3 years ago)

      That is awesome, Lara. And great to hear you reconnected with a couple of people. I certainly found I had a lot in common with people who weren’t necessarily in my circle at school.

      Reply
  11. Lydia C Lee
    August 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm (3 years ago)

    Great to hear – and you did look fab!!!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Lydia. I was a little worried I was overdressed, but as I was waiting to meet my friend an old man hobbled over to me and said, ‘You look lovely, m’dear, so I felt a bit better after that’ lol!

      Reply
  12. Kathy
    August 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm (3 years ago)

    That’s great you had a lovely time Renee – I think there is something really special about taking yourself back ,appreciating everything then and everything since. I’m guessing you’re an old All Hallows’s girl?

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm (3 years ago)

      I am indeed, Kathy. Did the bridge give it away? πŸ™‚ You are totally right it was lovely to appreciate the education we had and the friendships we made and everything in between πŸ™‚

      Reply
  13. Pinky Poinker
    August 5, 2014 at 8:41 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow Renee! What an uplifting post! I hope you handed out your blog address to everyone. The Terrace boys huh? I’m a Queenslander. I know which school that is! All Hallows has such an excellent reputation as well. I’m so glad it was such an inspiring experience for you x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 11:01 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Pinky. It sure does. I hope to send my girls there one day. We were very privileged to go there x

      Reply
      • Kathy
        August 6, 2014 at 7:40 pm (3 years ago)

        The bridge plus the nuns! My Mum went there too.

        Reply
        • mummywifeme
          mummywifeme
          August 6, 2014 at 8:21 pm (3 years ago)

          Oh really!! That’s awesome πŸ™‚

          Reply
  14. Fab
    August 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm (3 years ago)

    Great article Renee! I was feeling the exact same way πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 11:02 pm (3 years ago)

      Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one, Fab πŸ™‚ So great to see you in real life again!

      Reply
  15. Caitlin
    August 5, 2014 at 10:20 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m so glad you had a good time. (Loved your intro by the way! Great writing. Of course you aced English! Um, but what did you do to get kicked out?)

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 11:03 pm (3 years ago)

      I got kicked out for laughing too much πŸ™‚ It was a very funny incident though. I will never forget it!

      Reply
  16. Robyn
    August 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm (3 years ago)

    I can’t believe you contemplated not going!! Sounds like it was awesome fun. I would jump at the chance to go to mine bug I’m not sure I could afford a round the world ticket to get there sadly! Xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 5, 2014 at 11:03 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh yes, that’s a small problem isn’t it, Robyn πŸ™‚

      Reply
  17. DruimΓ©@SnippetsandSpirits
    August 5, 2014 at 11:23 pm (3 years ago)

    So cool Renee ! Sounds like it was well worth pushing through the nerves. I would love to go to a school reunion alas I don’t think I will ever make one though. A lovely read as always !

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh yes. That’s the problem with living on the other side of the world I guess πŸ™‚

      Reply
  18. WifeSylv
    August 6, 2014 at 5:31 am (3 years ago)

    I’ve only been to my five year reunion, because with Facebook there seemed to be no reason having a ten year one – we all seemed to still no what everyone was doing and enough of us still catch up regularly. But 20 years may definitely be worth doing!!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 6, 2014 at 12:46 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s fantastic that you are all still in contact and catch up regularly. Did you have a big class?

      Reply
      • WifeSylv
        August 7, 2014 at 9:17 am (3 years ago)

        Public school in inner west Sydney – almost 200 girls! I wouldn’t say we *all* get together regularly but there weren’t many cliques!

        Reply
        • mummywifeme
          mummywifeme
          August 12, 2014 at 11:26 pm (3 years ago)

          That is awesome πŸ™‚

          Reply
  19. Twitchy Sharon
    August 6, 2014 at 12:10 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m so glad for you it worked out to the best case scenario.
    Ours was great, really fun but imho better because co-ed! The biggest laughs came from the two class clowns who were cruising talent at the bar: β€œMarried, right?” *frown*… β€œMarried, right?” *frown*… Married, right? WHY ARE THE GOOD ONES ALWAYS MARRIED?!”
    Saddens me to hear of those who didn’t have a pleasant experience.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 6, 2014 at 12:47 pm (3 years ago)

      That sounds hilarious, Twitchy!! I know. I feel sorry for those who haven’t enjoyed these. Hopefully the positives outweigh the negatives though.

      Reply
  20. stephanie@stephsjoy
    August 8, 2014 at 9:13 am (3 years ago)

    I have been to a few school reunions, I recall the first one I went with some trepidation, just not knowing what to expect. Glad to hear that you had a great time reconnecting with old friends!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:26 pm (3 years ago)

      I think that first one will always be a little scary πŸ™‚

      Reply
  21. Sam Stone (@A Life on Venus)
    August 10, 2014 at 3:40 pm (3 years ago)

    I have my 20 year reunion this year too. It is in November. I don’t think I will be going though – too many bad memories.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2014 at 11:27 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh that’s no good, Sam. Sorry to hear that πŸ™

      Reply
  22. Aroha @ Colours of Sunset
    August 12, 2014 at 6:23 am (3 years ago)

    Our 20 year is next year. Have not heard anything about it yet and have too much on my plate to be the one to start anything. I hope someone organizes something though, as I missed the 10 year reunion because I was living over seas and about to get married! You look gorgeous Renee, so glad you had a wonderful time! I don’t have great memories of high school, but would be interested to catch up with some people again. Although, most of us agree, with Facebook, it’s easy to keep in touch with those you want to anyway! x

    Reply

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