As the fifth-year college reunion approaches, we have been looking forward to it with equal parts excitement and unease.
Of course there's the enjoyment of reuniting with friends who now live all over the globe, and the chance to relive some of the messy fun of college. But the formal reminder of time passed also presents an opportunity to evaluate life decisions over the past few years, which carries the risk of regret and insecurity from comparing yourself to others' formidable achievements.
Reunions shortly after college are particularly popular, followed by a dip around the 15-year reunion mark. During this time, graduates often seem to be under family or career stress and struggle to make the commitment.
Then 25th-year reunion which marks a shift from previous reunions, during which alumni are more focused on their careers.
There's a point around that age where people want to start to re-engage their minds intellectually. It’s also a time when people are more settled in their lives. They've raised family, built a strong career, and so they're ready to re-engage back with some of their memories.
By the 25th reunion, everybody's experienced something hard. They've had loss, disappointment, their path didn't go the way they thought it was going to go. As people get older, they start to get it—that life is about much more than their title or what they're making.
But while our perspectives on what matters in life may change, college friendships stay intact, even after classmates go decades without seeing each other.