Confessions of an avowed reunion avoider
by Anna Lee, Class of 2004
Working for the Office of Marketing and Media at NNU, I have a number of responsibilities when it comes to Homecoming. We publicize the events, prepare signage and décor and, most importantly, attend.
For someone in a communications role, I am surprisingly intimidated by formal social interactions. When I’m working I’m fine, but put me in a room with my classmates from 10 years ago and expect me to make small talk, and I want to run.
This year was my 10-year class reunion. Although I absolutely loved my NNU experience, this is not an event I have been looking forward to with anything but a dull sense of anxiety. After all, I see all the people I really want to see already, right?
I admit that I was curious to see how everyone looked and to generally compare the adorableness of our children and the impressiveness of our jobs. However, social media has provided me opportunity to follow my former classmates without the necessity of actually interacting or revealing my insecurities about still living in Nampa or not having completed a graduate degree.
As Homecoming & Family Weekend approached and my class representative continued to send information about special class events and requests for photos from our college days, I became slightly more enthusiastic. However, this was mostly because my former roommates were going to be making the trip.
When the fateful day arrived, I was actually pretty excited to attend my first class event with my security-blanket Marketing nametag in place. Much to my surprise, those first conversations were not awkward recitals of what we’ve been doing for the last 10 years or reliving the past knowing we no longer have anything in common. Rather they were genuine and warm.
We still have things in common because our experiences at NNU went deeper than most—shaped not only by silly events and shared classes but also by growing together as people and as children of God. Sure, there were plenty of “teachable moments,” social anxieties and missed expectations in college, but there were many more times of intellectual insight, mutual love and support, and spiritual awakening.
While those experiences were formative in our growth as individuals, they were also transformative for us collectively as a class. We don’t become the people we will become in a vacuum, no matter how much we think we are determining our own identities. We are influenced, changed and shaped by our community. Attending my reunion reminded me how thankful I am to have been a page in this group’s story written at this university.
Will I come to my 15 year class reunion? Guaranteed—and not just because I work in at the marketing department. My classmates are people worth knowing and connections worth maintaining. That’s just the kind of people who choose NNU and I’m proud to be counted among them.