British nostalgia over school reunions

July 15, 2010, 12:26 AM GMT+0

The majority of British adults (81%) who have attended a school reunion say they enjoyed the blast from the past, a recent YouGov poll suggests. However, only 16% of respondents stated they had actually attended a school reunion, although the meeting proves more popular as people get older, with one in five over 60 year olds stating they have attended a reunion.

Among the principal motivations for attending a reunion, over a third (39%) professed a curiosity to see what their former classmates were doing in life, while almost half (49%) used the event to reconnect with old friends. Notably, respondents were least inclined (2%) to see old teachers.

General reactions from those that have attended a school reunion were on the whole positive, with almost half (44%) feeling nostalgic, as well as happy (34%) and excited (23%). This was however tempered by a sizeable proportion (29%) of respondents who have previously attended a reunion who say it felt awkward to be reunited with old classmates.

4% of those who have not reconnected with old classmates admit to worrying that their accomplishments since school would not match up to their contemporaries.

23% of respondents confessed to feeling nervous when attending their reunion. A similar proportion (24%) opted out of the event altogether despite receiving an invitation or being aware it was taking place. Poor attendance is primarily down to lack of interest (29%) although 17% say that their school days were not something they wished to revisit and 17% of respondents claim that they are already in touch with everyone that they want to keep in contact with.

Survey details and full results