Looking Back and the Reunion

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Looking Back and the Reunion

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In an episode of One Tree Hill a teacher stands at the front of a class and writes five universal school categories

  • JOCKS
  • GEEKS
  • PROM QUEEN
  • LONERS
  • “FRIENDLY”

He pairs them up with people they wouldn’t usually choose to work with and they have to do five things:

  1. Share something personal
  2. Lighten up. Do an impression of a celebrity or famous character
  3. Admit something that worries you or you are afraid of
  4. What do you want to be in 10 years?
  5. Tell your partner a secret.

Along with taking a photo of each other that shows something you wouldn’t know about the person to look at.  They then share with the class what they’ve learnt.  The teachers goes on to say once you leave school you can reinvent yourself and not be what you have been labelled to be and that you can change; and although people do change I wander if the label they are given at school sticks with someone throughout life

At the end of last week I was talking to a friend about school reunions and she was saying that when she was at school there were two girls in her class who seemed to go everywhere together and when she met the one lady she said the other made her life a misery at school and bullied her constantly.  This left my friend confused because:

  1.  Did she remember it wrong?
  2.  What the truth was?

With Facebook, Twitter and Friends reunited becoming a frequent way of catching up with old school friends and rekindling romances, the reunion is becoming a big thing.  When you left school were you a jock and still a jock, prom queen and still the most popular girl about! And can the school bully and the victim have a pleasant conversation now they are adults?

For many people school wasn’t the happiest of affairs and they want to leave the past in the past for others there are still wounds that the thought of reconnecting has brought up things from the past they hoped would never come to life again.

On Facebook this week an argument happened within a school reunion group which ended up with people been kicked out the group and blocked.  Two of the booted out members formed another group in the hope that they could continue to contact old school friends, arrange reunions. They were very angry and rightly so as no explanation was given!  They invited many of us to join their group as well, as the days followed if you had joined the second group you were been blocked by the first again without explanation, leaving people confused and angry.  People couldn’t understand why they couldn’t be in both! The whole point of both groups was reunion, but no we had to pick sides.

As I watched this week as more people were kicked out, some choosing to leave first before they were booted out, it really felt like been back in the school yard, the few choosing the rules, the confusion of what people had done to deserve to be treated that way.  People being shunned for actually making the decision to participate with all their friends and not choosing sides. I wander how much damage the school reunion does to the people who had the horrible time, and how old anxieties, problems have surfaced by the thought of attending such an event.

For the person who was bullied daily can they hold their head up high and attend a reunion without ending up hiding in the corner from the person they were frightened of for 6 years?

Are the people you were drawn to at school to be friends with the type of people you are friends with now?

Do people revert back to their old school selves and become the label that they were?

And are our memories really what happen or are they all about the perception we had as a child/teenager of a person or event?

Often within a counselling session we look at the relationship people have with family, but more and more people attend with problems that stem from school situations that have haunted them from them leaving school to  later in their life,  whether it be been bullied (and isolated), the pressures of exams and performing, comparisons  teachers make to siblings, on top of that fitting in to an ever changing environment. As an adult we know that we can be friends with people who wear different clothes/music; in fact this week I learnt something about a school friend that at school I’m not sure she would have admitted for fear of ridicule. People often deny who they really are for that reason in the process losing who they really are for it then to surface in their twenties/thirties/forties as depression, this is where counselling helps allowing a person to process their thoughts, feelings about the their current situation and how the past  has shaped their present and helping them to heal the old wounds such as that they aren’t good enough.

Looking Back and the reunion can be a fanatastic thing and can shows insights into ourselves that we may not otherwise have learnt.

The choice is do we go back?

Thanks for reading.