I went to my 5th reunion this past weekend. At Princeton, reunions is a very big deal. About 70% of the class comes back for each of the major reunions so it ends up being a pretty big deal. I wasn't going to go back initially but overall I'm glad I did.
I had a good time but I don't know if I will be going back to any of the next major reunions. I know I will go back to the 25th, only because its the largest of the reunions, but other than that I doubt I will go to the 10th, 15th, or 20th. Don't get me wrong, I had a good time, but it wasn't the best time I ever had and its kind of a pain in the butt to go all the way from California.
I guess my big problem with the whole thing was that there is a lot of fake politeness that goes on. The typical conversation is always.
"Hey, how are you? Where are you at? What do you do?"
I had that conversation literally 50 times this weekend. Again, it was good to see people I haven't seen in a while but it isn't something I really want to go out of my way to do again. I also think the weekend was a few hours too long. I got to Princeton Friday afternoon. I got to catch up with people Friday night which was great. Saturday afternoon is the P-Rade which is a great opportunity to catch up with even more people. But by the end of it, around 5:00 p.m., you have kind of caught up with everyone you want to catch up with. Later in the evening is more drinking and partying but I'm not that much of a big party person any more. I'm not trying to relive my college days and nor do I enjoy traveling with a hangover. So for me, Saturday night was kind of a waste except for the fact that I had a real good conversation with someone who was real important to me. Except for that, I was tired of having my 5 minute conversations with a bunch of people I won't talk to again for another 20 years.
But again, great event. Princeton really does a great job of pulling it all together. Really does a great job of instilling a sense of community and family. No wonder it has like a 70% alumni giving rate.