Reflections on My Fifteen-Year College Reunion (Or “Twenty-Two Signs You’re Not Twenty-Two Anymore.”)

June 16, 2013


You guys, I’m kinda, sorta, a little bit old.

I know.

I’m as surprised by this as you are. Really.

In fact, the realization that I’m getting on in years didn’t really sink in until last weekend when I went to my fifteen-year college reunion.

FIFTEEN YEARS, YOU GUYS. That’s, like, a lot of years.

I could have produced a new human in that amount of time!

In fact, many of my college classmates have produced new humans in that time. Some of them have even produced more than one human.

That totally boggles my mind.

I mean, it seems like just yesterday I was shotgunning beers in the shower with these people. And smuggling Cap’n Crunch cereal out of the cafeteria in our pants. And then ordering Papa John’s pizza at two o’clock in the morning on a school night.

How is it possible that we’re old enough to be in charge of other humans now? That cannot be possible. It just cannot.

I still totally feel like I’m the same twenty-two-year-old I was when I graduated.

Me. When I was twenty-two. Yes, those are overall jean pants. I swear to you they were in fashion at the time.

Me. When I was twenty-two. Yes, those are overall jean pants. I swear to you they were the height of fashion at the time.

I’m still prone to wearing bad pants. And I still haven’t figured out what to do with my hair. Or my life, really.

Sure, I have arthritis in one knee and the metabolism of a garden snail. And just the thought of eating pizza at two o’clock in the morning gives me indigestion.

But, other than that, I haven’t changed a bit.

Or so I thought.

Until last weekend when I started to notice some signs – signs that it is entirely possible I am, in fact, not twenty-two anymore.

So I came up with this handy, dandy list of those signs. Maybe you’ll recognize some of these signs from your own life. If so, it’s possible that you, too, are kinda, sorta, a little bit old like me.

I know.

And I’m sorry.

Twenty-Two Signs That You’re Not Twenty-Two Any More

1. Despite the fact that the reunion is all the way in Ohio and will take you at least a few hours to get there, you don’t get on the road until three o’clock in the afternoon.
Hello, Ohio!

Hello, Ohio!

This is because you spend all day finishing up work and cleaning your apartment.

After all, you wouldn’t want to come home to unfinished work and a dirty apartment. That would just be horrible.

2. You make a point of packing sneakers.

You tell yourself this is because you’re going to go running.

But you know this is because at some point in the weekend, you’re going to need to ditch your flip-flops and wear sneakers. Even if they look totally stupid with your pants.

Because arch support, you guys. It’s a real thing.

3. A trip that used to take you only four hours now takes you five.

This is because you stop at all the rest stops.

Rest stops FTW!

Rest stops FTW!

You tell yourself that this is simply because you’re better hydrated than you were when you were twenty-two.

4. Prior to your arrival at the reunion, your friend texts you to ask you to pick up a few things so you can have a get-together later.

The list includes citron vodka and lemons.

Yep, you’re so old your list of party essentials includes fresh fruit. Probably to prevent you all from getting some kind of scurvy.

5. You arrive at the dorm room where you’ll be staying for the weekend.

You discover there are no hangers. How are you going to hang up all your clothes so they don’t get all wrinkley?

What? No hangers? Gah!

What? No hangers? Gah!

Also you’re a little bit worried about what that dorm bed is going to do to your back.

Yikes. My back!

Yikes. My back!

6. You go to bed at eleven o’clock.

Even though your friends have texted you to meet them for drinks somewhere.

You tell yourself that you’re doing this because you want to wake up early and go running.

But the truth is that you’re exhausted. Because five hours of driving is apparently way too much exertion for your thirty-seven-year-old, bad self.

7. You actually wake up early and go running.


Instead of running on the fancy-schmancy school track, you decide to run into town. You tell yourself this is because you want to check out the downtown area. This is really because the college campus is built on a hill above the town making it entirely possible to run downhill for most of your run.

Until you have to get back up the hill. At which point you start walking.

8. When you meet up with your college friends who have brought their kids with them, you say the same stuff your parent’s friends used to say to you as a kid.

Stuff like, “Wow, the last time I saw you, you were just a little baby!” Or “Look at you! You’re so big! How old are you now?” Or “What’s your favorite subject in school?”

The kids give you the same blank stare you used to give your parent’s friends. The blank stare that says, “Who is this old person? And why do all old people say the same dumb things?”

9. You walk around campus marveling at all the new changes.

Or at least you think they’re new changes.

You find yourself asking your classmates, “Did they have this when we went here?” Because you honestly can’t remember. You’d think you’d be able to remember stuff like the existence of an entire building. But you can’t.

Was that building here before?

Was that building here before?

10. You’re particularly mystified by all the new drink machines that have popped up everywhere on campus.

You start saying stuff like, “Enhanced water? What the heck is that? We had to drink our water directly from the tap! And look at how we turned out! Just fine!”

Enhanced the what-now?

Enhanced the what-now?

And “Cappuccino? In the library? Kids these days!”


Gah, those crazy cappuccino-swilling kids!

11. You volunteer to set up a Facebook page for your alumni class.

And then some college kid asks you if you’re going to need some help with that.

When you explain to her that you’re actually a blogger and you’re pretty good with the social media stuff, she just nods her head like, “Sure, you are, old lady.”

You’re tempted to tell her exactly how many Twitter followers you have just to “show” her. But then you decide that probably wouldn’t be too mature.

12. You have a few hours to kill in the afternoon so you go shopping.

For housewares.

Bargain housewares.

Wahoo! Bargain housewares!

Wahoo! Bargain housewares!

13. Your idea of pre-gaming the night’s festivities includes going to a fancy-pants wine bar in town.

You spend seven dollars on half a glass of Pinot Grigio and eat cheese off of a tiny plate.

Pre-gaming it. Old people style.

Pre-gaming it. Old people style.

You say things like, “Wow, I wish they had this kind of place when we went to college.” As if you would have ever spent seven dollars on a glass of anything when you were in college.

14. You decide to go to the drive-through liquor store for old time’s sake.
Yes, drive-through liquor stores are totally a thing.

Yes, drive-through liquor stores are totally a thing in Ohio.

You find yourself asking the clerk if they have a white wine that isn’t “too oaky.”

15. You make a point of eating plenty of dinner because you know you’re going to be drinking later.

You wouldn’t want to drink on an empty stomach. That would be bad.

Eat up!

Eat up!

You also make the point of eating salad. Because you’re feeling like you could really use some nutrients.

16. At the all-classes party later, you dance.

You don’t remember ever dancing much in college. Probably because you didn’t go to the types of parties where people danced. And also because you were too concerned about looking stupid.

But you don’t really care about looking stupid anymore. You’re not really sure when you stopped caring about that kind of thing. But you’re really glad you did. Because dancing is so much more fun than worrying about if you look stupid.


Dancing it out. (Mind you, this is not me. Or any of my classmates. We are not THAT old.)

17. You hitch a ride on a golf cart — the ones that you’re pretty sure are just reserved for the seventy and over set.

You could walk all the way back to the dorm, but that seems like a kind of far way to walk and you’re a little bit tipsy. Besides, your feet are totally killing you because you forgot to change out of your flip-flops and into your sneakers.

Also not me... or my classmates.

Also not me… or my classmates.

You ask the student volunteer driving the golf cart, “Is it weird seeing all these old people like us get drunk?”

He responds,“Not really. I used to work at a nursing home.”

18. At a dorm party with your fellow classmates, you attempt to drink something called a Buzz Ballz.

You’re pretty sure drinking anything with that many Z’s in the name is a bad idea, but you still try it.


When you discover it tastes exactly like suntan lotion, you stop drinking it. Even if there is some perfectly good alcohol in there.

19. Although you love hanging out with your friends, you find yourself nursing a bottle of cider and secretly hoping security shows up to break up the party so you can go to bed already.

When you do go to bed already, it feels like it’s four o’clock in the morning.

It’s barely midnight.

20. The next day you meet friends for lunch before leaving town.

You order something with lots of spinach in it because, again, you’re feeling the need to have more nutrients in your diet.

Your friend, who ordered a bacon burger and onion rings, makes a joke about having to take extra Lipitor that night.

 21. You start driving home right after lunch.

You’re tired and you’re looking forward to sleeping in your own bed that night.

Plus, you want to be home in time to watch Long Island Medium.

 22. You honestly can’t remember having that much fun with such an awesome group of cool people in a really long time.
Best. Fun. Ever.

Best. Fun. Ever.

You hope this isn’t just because you can’t remember anything any more.

Have you attended a college or high school reunion? How did it go? Did it make you feel old? What other signs have you noticed that you might be kinda, sorta, a little bit old?

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On June 16, 2013 at 4:08 pm Priya said:

    ditto on the sneakers. I’ve had way too many flip-flop walking situations go wrong. Yet, I still tend to do it.
    I went to my late Grandmother’s sister’s 80th birthday yesterday and if you’ve ever gone to one of MY family gatherings, you’d know that they don’t serve booze. Ever. And they almost always have these Indian circle dances where they almost always drag me into it even though they know it makes me feel awkward. But there was cake. So,I guess it’s OK.
    Priya recently posted..Quarter Life Crisis: My Friend Katie’s 25th Birthday + An Introduction To A New Series

  2. On June 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm Nisa said:

    I am a Wooster class of 2016 and I helped out during the Alumni Weekend — glad you enjoyed AW.
    Cheers, @NisaFlame
    P.S. I follow you on Twitter and I know how many followers you have :p

    • On June 17, 2013 at 9:45 am Sally said:

      Hahaha. I hope it wasn’t you I got all mad at for offering to help me with the Facebook page! And it’s nice to have a current Wooster student reading my blog. Now go fetch me the golf cart because these bunions are killing me!

  3. On June 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm DJ Francis said:

    Dino’s. Man, Sally, you really did the whole town.

  4. On June 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm Patrick said:

    I’m stunned that you wanted security to come break up the 10 of us in the class of ’98…hahahaha. My feelings are forever crushed. 😉

    • On June 17, 2013 at 9:43 am Sally said:

      It’s not because I didn’t want to hang out with you. It was because I was tired and because I thought it would be really cool if security broke up our party. We could have gone down in infamy as the coolest 15-year-reunioners ever. Stealing flags! Getting in fist fights with the 98 parade sign! Buzz Ballz! Having our parties broken up by security! Wahoo!

  5. On June 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm Katie Heubert said:

    Best post ever. Literally laughed out loud because (sadly) every word was true!

  6. On June 16, 2013 at 8:25 pm Scott - Quirky Travel Guy said:

    Just this afternoon I was feeling old and totally removed from my former self. Lunch was a kale burger with a vegan snickerdoodle. I found myself contemplating how I arrived at a point in my life where this is a satisfying meal.
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..Quirky Attraction: Toronto Shoe Museum

  7. On June 16, 2013 at 10:01 pm Carmel said:

    My 15 year high school reunion is this year. I haven’t bothered to go to any of the reunions, including my 10 year college reunion last year, despite the fact that I live in the same city where I went to college.

    I did find your observations quite spot on, though, including the overalls because I have a picture from my prom committee meeting (yes, I was on prom committee…WTF?) where I’m also wearing overalls. That was 1998. Such a bad idea.

    I also can’t remember a time when I was embarrassed about dancing/looking like an idiot in front of other people. Well, maybe when I was a freshman.
    Carmel recently posted..MY UNDERWATER FEARFUL ADVENTURE

    • On June 17, 2013 at 9:38 am Sally said:

      My college graduation was in 1998, so I was right. Overalls WERE the height of fashion back then! I’m so glad I wasn’t alone in my overall-wearing obsession.

  8. On June 17, 2013 at 12:19 am Christy@SweetandSavoring said:

    My ten year high school reunion would have been three years ago, but I didn’t know anything about it- when it happened, where…?? No idea. You’ve made me curious, despite the fact that 75% of me does not want to revisit those awful years and I don’t even keep in touch with anyone from high school. And I’m in college now!

    And I can’t believe I didn’t follow you on Twitter before now. Whaaat?

    • On June 17, 2013 at 9:37 am Sally said:

      I probably wouldn’t have been so excited about my reunion if I hadn’t really, really enjoyed college — but, yes, I was one of those dorks who really, really enjoyed college. It helped that I went to school with some really cool people. And a lot of those cool people were at the reunion. I wasn’t such a big fan of high school, on the other hand. While I still talk to some people from high school (on the Facebook), I don’t know if I’d want to do a high school reunion really. Maybe just with the people I liked. 🙂

  9. On June 17, 2013 at 9:06 am Catriona said:

    You had me at Long Island Medium. 😉

  10. On June 17, 2013 at 10:15 am Jonathan said:

    Wow! You have a crazy number of twitter followers (and now I’m one too).

    Thanks for the update. I was sad I missed it, but now I feel like I had part of the experience. I’m sort of glad that people weren’t really blogging when we had the 5 year reunion.

  11. On June 17, 2013 at 11:17 am Sue B said:

    Just returned from my husband’s 50th college reunion and slept in a dorm room that looked just like yours even though it was a different school. And there were no hangers there either. This might be a conspiracy. I spent my time with the really old people who all commented on how old everyone ELSE looked.

  12. On June 17, 2013 at 11:21 am Deedee said:

    My 20th college reunion is coming up this fall and I’m alternately dreading it and getting excited for it. I haven’t been back there since two years after I graduated, but thanks to Facebook (which wasn’t around the last time I went) I think it’ll be easier to connect with people than it was the last time.

    You’re lucky that the college opens up dorms for you – I’ve got to cram into a hotel room with three other women just to afford to go. I suppose some things never change!
    Deedee recently posted..Rosemary Triscuits: The Snack of Satan

    • On June 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm Sally said:

      I can’t believe they won’t open up the dorms. That’s crazy. You’d think they’d want to make it easier for everybody AND make some money in the process.

  13. On June 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm Amanda said:

    I haven’t been to any sort of reunion yet (though my 10-year high school one is swiftly sneaking up on me…), but I’m both looking forward to and dreading it. If, you know, I’m even in the country when it happens…

    I didn’t know you went to Wooster, though! My best friend went there, and I almost did too. I was drawn to the kilts. But sadly they didn’t have a journalism program, so I went to Ohio Northern instead.
    Amanda recently posted..Eating Hogtown: A Pork-Themed Tour of Toronto

    • On June 19, 2013 at 9:53 pm Sally said:

      Oh, yes, the kilts were definitely a deciding factor for me. I was bummed that there was only one bagpiper at the reunion and he was wearing shorts. SHORTS. I didn’t drive all the way to Ohio, to see some guy in SHORTS. Uggh.

  14. On June 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm Madhu Bhardwaj said:

    Another lesson: Don’t blog too soon after the event otherwise the people that you met yesterday will ask you questions about what you felt and wrote.:)
    Awkward squirming.
    Madhu Bhardwaj recently posted..Warriors……To Fight Evil

  15. On June 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm Terry Heubert said:

    Fabulous post! I never thought that my love of lemon in drinks as a primal instinct to save myself from scabies, but I think that’s exactly what it is!
    Terry Heubert recently posted..Beer Run | District of Columbia

  16. On June 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said:

    Muahahaha omg I agreed with ALL of these!!!!!! LOVED this post!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..Turks And Caicos: Day 3 (Part 2)

  17. On June 17, 2013 at 11:40 pm Brittany @ Paws for Beer said:

    Guilty of many of these. I have noticed as I’ve gotten older that I do not eat anything acidic late at night because I get “old man heartburn” and have to carry tums in my handbag. Sigh
    Brittany @ Paws for Beer recently posted..Photo Friday 6/14/2013

    • On June 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm Sally said:

      I never, ever, ever used to get any kind of stomach issues ever. I was convinced I had an iron stomach. And now if I eat anything after 9 PM, especially if it’s anything slightly spicy or greasy, I wake up at 3 AM and am completely dying of heartburn. I guess that’s just karma’s way of getting back at me for bragging about my iron stomach so many times.

  18. On June 18, 2013 at 12:21 am nicole | the wondernuts said:

    Ok, I do the first one every time we leave for a trip. Because I. CAN. NOT. stand the site of a dirty home when we come back. I mean, I’m pooped when we come back with all that jet lag. And then to sit in some mildly dusty, somewhat unvacuumed filth? Nope. No way. not evah.
    nicole | the wondernuts recently posted..Singapore Street Hawker: How Food Should Be

    • On June 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm Sally said:

      I know, right? It’s so much nicer to come home to a clean house. I’m leaving this weekend & I’m even considering cleaning AND grocery shopping before I go so I can come home to a clean apartment and a full fridge. Surely, this is a sign I’m 80.

  19. On June 18, 2013 at 10:41 am Leah said:

    I love you forever, Sally!

  20. On June 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm Daisy said:

    This is so fantastic! I have done practically every single one of these. We’re not old, we just know better 🙂
    Daisy recently posted..Pan-Roasted Lamb Rib Chops with Mint Chimichurri

  21. On June 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm Ceri said:

    That sounds like it went pretty well. 😀 And, to be fair, I definitely recognise a lot of my own habits on this list so I guess that’s a sign I’m getting old too. 😛 It’s my ten year high school reunion this year and you couldn’t pay me to go back there. Nope, nope, nope.
    Ceri recently posted..NY Bucket List: #5 – Visit the Dakota

  22. On June 25, 2013 at 3:43 pm Lauren @ roamingtheworld said:

    My 10 year reunion came and went. No surprise that our skateboarder, who cares about school class president didn’t organize anything…
    But I can only imagine the feeling.
    I’m back home and just roaming around the town makes me feel old- its “over run” with high school kids. Heck, i was just teaching kids this age back in Spain!

  23. On July 3, 2013 at 7:58 am Val said:

    (I’m catching up on blog-reading tonight.) 🙂

    I’m thirteen years out of college–and sported black, dark blue, faded blue,and at least one other color (“army green”?) of overalls in 1998, thank you–and this post made me laugh and laugh. 🙂 The “This is not us. We are not that old!” and the kid’s nursing home comment were what really got me. Here’s another item to add to the list: When you start referring to college students as “kids.” 🙂

    But I’ll always love overalls. They’re hard to find anymore, but I think they’re adorable on anyone (female, at least) at any age. And they’re so comfy. 🙂

    • On July 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm Sally said:

      I work at a college campus and my colleagues call the students “kids” all the time (even though we teach a lot of adults who are near or close to our age). I refuse to do it. I say this is to be respectful to my students. But I suspect it’s because I don’t want to feel too old.


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