Attending Your High School Reunion

By  |  28 Comments

this past weekend i ventured back to colorado to attend my 10 year high school reunion. what a strange concept: go back and awkwardly mingle with people who you were best friends with or didn’t say a word to.

i reached out to my core group of besties from high school to see if they would be coming so i could introduce them to my husband but not a single one showed up. most of them still live in town so at first i was pretty disappointed in them not coming but figured i would make the most of it anyway. after all, i had upgraded not only myself but also some good lookin’ arm candy.


earlier this summer, after attending my husband’s 10 year high school reunion, i explained why i am so very glad we did not meet in high school. i am an incredibly different person than i was in high school. hell, i’m an incredibly different person than i was a mere two years ago!

in high school, i struggled with depression and whole lot of untreated general anxiety. i was angsty, my style was somewhere between a homeless man and a hippie and my self-confidence was nonexistent. i maintained excellent grades but tried hard to give off the facade of not really caring about school because that was cool? (why is high school so weird?!)


high school reunion hs

i did not always make the best decisions in who i surrounded myself with or the relationships i was in. looking back, i think this was because my self-esteem was so low.

i had no idea what to expect for this reunion but i was surprised to see it would be held at a country bar. i still don’t know how my reunion was more country than my texas husband’s reunion – ha! we had one woman from our class volunteer to organize it all so i’m not complaining because i did not want that job – thanks alana!


strange thing about going to college in the same state you graduated high school from…a lot of other people end up there too. at my high school reunion were people i became friends with in college but didn’t really know in high school – so weird!

we stupidly didn’t take a photo there together so instead here is one from our wedding! that is david in the green shirt pretending he’s on a surfboard. i went to high school with him (not really friends) and then he was my husband’s best man and now good friend. so crazy! that’s his twin (and our friend) kim in the green dress.

hs reunion

i was very grateful to have them there in the beginning as my liquid courage was taking effect. it was funny when we walked in, there were the same cliques all sitting together in certain sections of the bar – just like the cafeteria all over again except now we could legally add rum to our coke.

one thing i didn’t expect was for people from high school to read my blog (hi erin, amber, christina, alana, jenny, stephen, kayla, brooke, molly, jenna, tanya, sarah) – thank you for saying something. it made me so happy to hear!

funny story – at the end of senior year when we were voting for ‘class awards’ (though we did not have class favorite like my husband’s school, we did have ‘most likely to end up in jail’ so there’s that) i wanted to be voted funniest. i lost. my friend on the yearbook staff told me i came in 2nd runner up and you know who was first runner up…brooke.

she is indeed hilarious and a reader of this here blog so look brooke – you made it on the blog! she has a twin and they look a lot alike (hi britni!) so her name tag said her name and then “no, britni isn’t here”. well earned title, brooke!

high school reunion 2

i have also connected with jenna via social media (see, it’s not always bad) and it’s been fun to see her fall in love (is that weird?) and then getting to meet her husband! our husbands sort of became instant bffs so that was cute. we all decided we need to figure out how to go live in yurts in the san juan islands!

high school reunion 1

the most interesting thing for me was to be in a room again with these same people but feel so different about myself and about the world. i walked in with confidence and with someone i could not be prouder to call my husband. his name tag says “ryan avery (chelsea’s husband).”

high school averys

after a night of navigating how to approach people you haven’t seen in years but know details of their life thanks to facebook, my introverted self was exhausted. my mom sent me a text saying the front door would be unlocked for us when we returned to her house for slumber and s’mores oreos (get them, they are the best ever).

because i strategically just foreshadowed in the previous sentence, said front door was probably unlocked but the screen door in front of it was in fact, locked. did i try to have my husband boost me up to attempt to shimmy in the second-story window? yes. did he go around back to see if that window was open and could break in? yes. did we consider sleeping in the car since both of their cell phones were off? yes. did we finally ring the doorbell five times but neither my mom, stepdad or the dog heard? YES.

we finally got in because i read a lot of nancy drew growing up, but i must not reveal how this occurred so you won’t break into their home. just know i was proud of myself and we could not stop laughing. still laughing about it now (and yes, my mother calls me chelsea sue, even though that has never been my middle name). she once picked me up from a party in 8th grade and called me that – i was mortified. now i love it.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 8.18.00 AM

i think i would have regretted not going to my 10 year high school reunion. i am proud of the work my high school self has gone through to get where my 28 year old self is today. i no longer feel embarrassed about who i was or what i was about because all of that has shaped who i am today…a bolder, more confident version of me.

chelsea and ryan avery

ps. our matching pose is unintentional…which makes me love it a lot.

do you plan on attending your high school reunion or have you gone?

i’m also curious, what would you tell your high school self based on what you know now?


  1. Marilyn Jess

    September 9, 2015 at 8:51 am

    I’d tell the HS me–Speak Up more. The adult me surely has!

  2. Audrey

    September 9, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I love your outfit- especially the shirt and shoes. You look so cool! I would want to hang out with you at a 10 year high school reunion 🙂 My graduating class opted to not have a 5 year reunion (since FB exists and most of use were still in school/just getting out), but I’m sure there will be 10 year reunion in 2019. I’m not sure if I’ll go or not…

    If I could tell my high school self anything it would be to save the stress, especially when it comes to the friendship that were starting to crumbling in my senior year. I would tell her that we are 100% better off without the bad influences in our lives and fate is trying to weed them out, so just let her do it and stop resisting. Also, go into college like a bad ass (p.s. you picked the right school for you… stop doubting this), don’t be afraid to get involved, and PLEASE don’t dye your hair orange. 😀
    Audrey recently posted…County Bumpkins

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2015 at 10:53 am

      bahah you’re the best audrey! “you look so cool” hah that’s what i was going for 🙂

      love your advice to your HS self, audrey! agreed about getting the bad influences out of our lives and not to be afraid to get involved. i want to tell myself that too.

      haaaa orange hair! photos please 🙂

  3. Amanda

    September 9, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Yes yes yes, so much yes. I am so glad you’re helping preach how good reunions can be and so glad you were proud to be who you are now, there.
    Amanda recently posted…Summer TV Update

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2015 at 10:54 am

      yes they can totally be good! i’m definitely glad i went 🙂

  4. Amberly

    September 9, 2015 at 9:28 am

    You guys look great! My husband’s high school reunion is next year and mine the year after. I’m kind of excited to attend his and see how our friend groups differ because we went to the same high school and I knew a lot of people his age, but never ever hung out with him. I may have to write posts about it 🙂
    Amberly recently posted…The Perks of Being Married to a Woodworker

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2015 at 10:57 am

      thanks amberly 🙂 that will be fun to go to both your husband’s reunion and yours in the next few years! yes totally write about it, would love to hear how they all went!

  5. brittany

    September 9, 2015 at 10:31 am

    I am glad you wrote about the reunion! Now I could hear about what it was like. Glad you had fun. Feel a little bad that I couldn’t make it, but work is really busy right now. And I get to hear all about your adventures on this fine blog. 🙂 Maybe I’ll make the next one.

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      i was hoping you’d be there, brittany but understand about the busy time at work! hope everything is going well and i do hope our paths cross in real life soon 🙂 (maybe australia?!)

  6. Debra

    September 9, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Just wait….it gets better the longer you are out of high school. My class has had a reunion every five years since graduation. I will be attending my 45th high school reunion next August. Bless the friends that put the reunions together. Things change, people change, situations change. And yes…the people that live in town don’t attend. Never understood that. Oh well….reunions are a time of reflection and my high school days were so much fun. Wouldn’t miss a reunion for the world. Glad you had a good time.

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      ohhh every 5 years, debra?? maybe that’s a midwest thing because my mom said hers does that too. glad you are planning to go to yours next year and wow 45! so you’ve noticed too that people who live in town don’t show up?? that’s so odd to me but yes, oh well. so happy to hear you love them each time!

  7. Nina @ Hugs and Lattes

    September 9, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Things I never want to do: attend my high school reunion. Granted, I graduated in a class of 20. I think with social media, reunions will slowly fade out. Next summer would be my 5 year reunion and I wasn’t even friends with people that much in high school, and haven’t kept up with them over the years. Your Chelsea Sue story – that’s hilarious.
    Nina @ Hugs and Lattes recently posted…Step On Up to this Playlist – LBD (3)

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      haha i feel you nina. i felt that way until about 5 years ago when i was sorta like “well…i bet you’d never guess how i’m turning out!” that would also be very different to graduate from a class of 20 (mine was 450 and my husbands was 850!!)

      i also am giving you (very selective) permission to call me chelsea sue nina, i feel like it’d be cute coming from you 🙂

  8. Vivien

    September 9, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Went to mine too. Not a whole lot of people showed up (a drop in the bucket compared to the graduating class) but I’m glad I got to say hi to most of those that were there.

    What I would tell my high school self…I would tell her that everything you think you will do and accomplish by the time you are 28, won’t happen. Nothing will work out the way you think it will. But you will have an entirely different set of experiences and accomplishments that are pretty cool in their own right. Just be sure to work hard, study hard, and try not to keep your (respectful) thoughts and opinions bottled up inside so much. Speak up more! And oh yeah, on that note, make sure you join Toastmasters.
    Vivien recently posted…Freckles grow at dawn: What the game of Telephone taught me about communication

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      glad to hear you went to yours too, vivien! we didn’t have a ton of people either (nor did ryan from a class of 800+).

      haaa so true about not accomplishing everything you think you will by 28…or just knowing everything will completely change than what you ‘plan’ for! heck yes to speaking up more!!
      chelsea recently posted…Attending Your High School Reunion

  9. Elyse

    September 9, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    I’m not sure I’d want to attend my high school reunion, there’s a reason why I ran away to the city instead of living in my small town, but maybe.

    I have a feeling we would have been friends in high school if we knew each other!

    I would tell my high school self to just relax. Things work out, even if they aren’t exactly how you expected them to go!
    Elyse recently posted…How To: Overnight Oats

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      yeah i feel you elyse….i didn’t think i’d go until about 5 years ago and then had the sudden feeling of “wow i bet a lot of people didn’t see this one coming!” ha 🙂

      oh i bet we would have been friends too in high school…you could have helped me pick out weird thrift store clothes and we could have been angsty together!

      too right you are about telling your high school self to relax because it will all work out!

  10. Carly

    September 9, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    I’m so sad I missed it!!!!!! I had to work 🙁 I loved you in high school and believe it or not you were as great as you are now despite how you felt. Always funny and quirky and caring and interesting. I’m so happy to see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown, hopefully we can reconnect soon!

    • chelsea

      September 10, 2015 at 8:04 am

      i kept hoping your face would appear, carly! i saw misty briefly but then i went to find her to say hi and couldn’t 🙁 thanks for your kind impression of me in high school, that’s totally how i thought of you! and you were stylish! hope our paths cross in person soon too!

  11. Ellen from Ask Away

    September 10, 2015 at 4:58 am

    Aw wow that looks like a nice time. i still havent been to any of mine. oops lol. i just found your blog. it’s awesome!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away

    • chelsea

      September 10, 2015 at 8:05 am

      thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment ellen! excited to check out your blog 🙂

  12. Elizabeth T

    September 10, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Your reunion looks like tons of fun! Judging by clothes and grades, I think we would have been friends in high school. 🙂 I’m not sure if I’d attend a high school reunion if I had one (I was homeschooled) but I’d for sure attend a college reunion if that were a thing! Also I love your poses in that last photo–so cute!!
    Elizabeth T recently posted…Fitness Date Night for Couples + Aloha Protein Smoothie

    • chelsea

      October 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      haha love that you are judging by ‘the clothes and the grades’ elizabeth HA! we totally would have been friends!

  13. Pingback: How to Be More Trendy with Accessories • the new wifestyle

  14. Alessa

    September 30, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Hi Chelsea! Long time no talk! I try to keep up with your blogs as much as I can, and just read this one tonight. You have a gift, and I love reading your posts 🙂 I’m happy to hear the reunion went well, and am sorry I missed it! Would love to catch up with you the next time you are in Denver- give my best to Kendal and your parents too!

    • chelsea

      October 9, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      you are so sweet for reading and for your comment, alessa! thank you! we definitely reminisced about poms and you/your wonderful family! congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding too! hope you are well and hope we run into each other in denver 🙂

  15. Pingback: The Coldest Place to Spend Thanksgiving! • the new wifestyle