8 Life Lessons I Learned At My College Reunion

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Life lessons are just that – lessons about life.

I recently attended my 10 year college reunion (I’m that old?!) and while initially I had reservations about going, I pushed the silly thoughts aside and put on a brave face. Why wouldn’t I want to celebrate, reminisce, catch up with old friends and reflect on the past, you ask?

You see, the last 10 years were anything but planned, normal, and easy. I endured countless setbacks. I dealt with more mentally, emotionally, and psychologically in the last ten years than anyone should in a life time, including layoffs, too many funerals of close family, and failed friendships to name a few.

Despite dealing with those hardships and fearful to return to the one place where I had initially so many hopes and dreams, I came to realize that the last 10 years have proven to be…exactly what I needed – hardships included.  Here are 8 life lessons I learned from my college reunion:
life lessons

1) Where you are is exactly where you are meant to be 

Back in 2001-2005 never did I imagine myself living in Chicago, working in legal email and social media marketing but here I am, the happiest, most comfortable, most accepting of my life I’ve ever been.


life lessons

2) The farther you fall, the higher you bounce back

For those of you that didn’t know me before the trials and tribulations, I am a different person. Not better. Not worse. But different – perhaps who I was supposed to be all along.


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3) There’s more to sorority life than parties

Being a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority (and President at that!) is really a life-long adventure. Within the first 2 minutes of stepping back into the house, I immediately went to the President’s room where I met the current President. Despite a 10+ year age gap, we still connected. Not to mention, proudly wearing a KAO pin on my jacket while leaving the hotel is a great icebreaker while in the elevator.

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4) People change, but friendships can endure

In ten years I’ve maintained friendships – some that have waned, but no matter the differences, the change in lifestyles or the fact that people will change as we all get older, the friendships I do have are pretty friggin’ awesome.


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5) You have a different lifestyle…and that’s ok

There are the ones who haven’t grown up. There are the ones who are just as you imagined. There are the ones that make you go “Whoa, s/he has come a long way”. Then there is yourself. Your life is the one you need to live…not anyone else’s.


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6) Trying to conform to society makes you unhappy

I’m 32. Single (never had a boyfriend). Don’t want to get married and have kids. This is not the norm given generations of folks getting married and popping out babies. I’ve never wanted it. There are times I want to want that but at the end of the day, settling or regressing to simply have a boyfriend/fiance/husband and children because society says so will give me more anxiety and regrets than I need.


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7) Bonds formed at university are unbreakable

There are the people you meet, strangers, throughout your life. Both older and younger. As soon as you find out he/she has some sort of connection to your alma mater, automatically you have a bond.


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8) Your past is good; your future is much better

It was wonderful to reflect on all that happened during the 4 years of college as well as the 10 years after. From tears to sadness to tears of joy. To good memories, to bad memories. To moments of being proud to moments of being ashamed.  That’s all perfectly ok for the days up to the reunion (and 10 hour round trip car ride) but don’t forget what is still ahead.

What life lessons did you learn at your high school or college reunion?

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