High School Reunion Goers Reveal The Worst Change They've Seen In A Classmate
High school reunions have the potential to be one of the most awkward nights of our adult lives. What will all of our old classmates be like? Will we even want to go? Will they actually be able to find us? With social media keeping everyone connected, we can keep better track of what everyone is up to. But there are always the ones who slip through the cracks.
One Reddit user asked: What was the worst change in a person you saw at your High School re-union?
Aaaaaaand yeah, the responses were goooood. Maybe not "The Rock/Kevin Hart solve an international mystery and still make it to the reunion on time" kind of good... but still really good.
The Next Morning
I got s***faced at my 10 year reunion. I was buying people shots, accosted the DJ to play songs from our high school days, started a dance off and then enthusiastically recruited a group to keep the party going at a local bar. The best part was I was soooooo shy and withdrawn in high school no one remembered me, and no one really knew who I was.
I threw up in my dog's bed the next morning.
Worst change I ever saw was no change at all.
Well, two classmates got married, and then one murdered their toddlers and killed himself. That was a hell of an update.
As the evening wore on, it became apparent that the crazy fun party guy who seemed awesome at the beginning of the night was really the weepy alcoholic crying about having nothing left to live for. It was very depressing.
The Popular Girl
In high school, there was a girl I envied because she was the stereotypical popular girl. Blonde hair, blue eyes, full of pep. She had dreams of going to medical school and being a pediatric cardiologist. She was a star in my dance class, the lead in the plays. She could sing. She took advanced placement classes. She was nice too.
On our senior trip at the end of senior year, she told me about how she'd take speed to be up for days at a time, so she didn't have to sleep and could do so much.
She never went to college. She looks really bad. Had a few babies, one of them born addicted to drugs, I believe. She walks around town with her head down, all in black. She doesn't talk to anyone.
It's really, really sad honestly.
Most handsome, popular, rich, quarter-back-of-the-football-team/class president guy took a swan dive off a high floor of a hotel in front of his wife and kids a couple years back. Didn't see that one coming.
Like I said, handsome, popular, rich, quarter-back-of-the-football-team/class president played college ball and married the head cheerleader. But I think that was the highlight of his life and he never relived the glory and adulation he had growing up. I heard he was working in the warehouse of his dad's business and was passed over to take over and had developed a drug problem. I think he was on his way home from rehab when it happened.
Honestly, it was me.
High school me was very animated, social and skinny. 15-years-later me was very withdrawn, sad and obese.
It's so strange. I never fantasized that I'd be the guy that people talked about having "really gone downhill." I was always such a great student, I was active, I volunteered for things, I made art. A real type-A person...someone you'd want to be around.
But I was the one people whispered about, and it really hurt.
You'd think if someone was going through major depression, they would know, right?
Without drawing this out, the good news is that I'm doing really great now. I'm skinny again. I'm social. I'm out there doing stuff, and I think I can count myself as someone people want to be around. It's kind of scary...having a personality...but exciting scary.
Hopefully, at the 20-year-reunion, the whispers will be different.
Selling Crap Leggings
Had a clique of 4 rich popular girls who ended up marrying fairly young and having kids right out of high school. They all sell Lularoe and have spent most of their husbands' money on the "business." So now they spend their days at home on facebook trying to sell crap leggings to people.
Two of them tried to sell to me and a big group of other classmates before we all just moved away from them and did our own thing. You could feel the desperation coming off of them.
Could Not Locate
Just had our 20th, two people we could not locate but both are known to be drug addicts and homeless. I hope they're both doing ok because they were good kids who had a hard upbringing.
A Literal Cult
I went to my 20 year reunion a few years back. The girl who organized the whole thing was, and is pretty, popular and intelligent. She also turned out to be a high level member of the Keith Raniere cult NXIVM which has been in the news lately. She was using the event to recruit people! The girl is the daughter of one of the founding members, who I've known since I was in Elementary school.
Never had the slightest clue about any of this until this reunion.
It Would Be Funny If
One guy who was a total a**hole to me apparently fathered children with several classmates in the first few years after school. Including both my ex girlfriends. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
Party Of One
Well, since I was the only one to show up for my 10 year reunion, it would be me. I got fat.
I Missed Out
I went to my 10, 15, and 20 year reunion.
I think the worst change I saw was that quite a few still haven't changed. They were the same as they were in high school. It was almost cartoonish. Hanging on to who they were 10 or 20 years ago and still trying to be that guy or girl.
I always ended up hanging out with a four or five of the "nerds" that had become amazingly funny, interesting people. Normal people. And I look back with regret that that as a wannabe jock or wannabe tryhard cool kid.
I missed out on really knowing them.
Murder Is A Family Business
Star athlete, great guy had so much potential. Not even a year after we graduated he got caught in a murder case. Him and his uncle murdered a well known writer from the area. Didn't want to believe it at first or at all. He got his sentencing I think this year or somewhere last year. You never know how someone will turn out in the end.
I Wish I Could Apologize
I went to a small rural high school and didn't attend any of our "official" reunions, but our town has a 4th of July festival every year that served as an unofficial reunion for those of us who went away to college.
The summer before my first year of college I was hanging out at the festival with some of my friends when I heard a familiar voice call my name. I turned around, and there was "Debbie," a girl in the class a year ahead of me whom I and my friends had crushed on to varying degrees.
But the person standing before me was no longer that Debbie. High-school Debbie was slim, petite, and pretty, with long dark hair. This person was massively obese, marred by terrible acne and a nose ring that appeared to be infected, and sporting a ragged short hair cut that had been dyed an unflattering shade of brown. We conversed briefly and she mentioned that she'd joined the Peace Corps and spent a few months in Kyrgyzstan (IIRC), but otherwise offered no explanation of her changed look. There was some more small-town chitchat, and then we went our respective ways.
Maybe half an hour after running into Debbie I ran into my friend Chad, and he (who had crushed on her the hardest) asked if we'd seen her. I said that we just saw her and that she was probably still close by (it was a very small town), but he should know that she looked very different these days. I didn't elaborate further, as It was kind of depressing to see her the way she was and I didn't want to come off as mean.
We walked around a little bit more, and sure enough there was Debbie again. I pointed her out to Chad, who seemed unsure about who I might be pointing towards. But then he SAW.
Debbie saw the face, and walked away the other direction.
I came back home for the next three summers, but never saw Debbie again at any of the festivals; and even years later after Facebook became a thing and everyone started reconnecting online I never encountered her. I wish I could apologize for that moment. Lord only knows what might have caused such a dramatic change over that one year of her life.
Baby In The Bathroom
She brought her children. There were 12 of them. She was drunk. Really drunk! Like she turned up drunk!! She didn't leave until 11pm. She left her baby in the bathroom. She used to be president of the chastity club. (100% serious)
I think it was me.
I was drunk one hour in because it was so awkward so I kept drinking.
Every Racial Slur
I went to high school with a disorganized but well-mannered kid who was pretty well known and not unpopular. He ended up dropping out of college to travel in Asia, where he got into a bar fight, hit someone, and badly injured him. Spent the rest of his college years in an Asian (can't remember where) prison. When I saw him at our reunion, he had a massive face tattoo and was using every racial slur known to man.
She Looked 50
It was a 10 year reunion, but I swear to god, she looked 50 years old.
It's fun to sit around and pretend, isn't it?
Or maybe you win the lottery, it doesn't matter. The point is there's a lot of things you can do with a billion dollars, so with the world the way it is let's take a fun trip down imaginary lane.
What would you first do if you ever became a billionaire?
These are the people who would help the world continue running, keeping the sails on the ship and the car on the road. They spend their money responsibly, reasonably, and with caution.
Maybe a little boring, but extremely necessary.
The Bare Minimum
"Turn on double verification in my bank account"
"Bank account or bank accounts?"
Let's Put These Things In Proper Order
"Get an attorney"
"Then an accountant"
"It's so unlikely to become an accidental billionaire, but basically this, the only way to survive it is to create a company that runs your life and has multiple employees. Your attorneys, accountants, drivers and security detail. You are now the CEO of a small company that is dedicated to your safety."
Doing Things For Others As Well As Yourself
"This will sound cliche.
Take care of friends and family.
Travel for remainder of my life."
"You would be popular for taking care of your friends and it's a good thing to do, but i feel like it would get weird once the word gets out. You might suddenly find yourself surrounded by a lot of long-lost friends."
Of course, if you've been gifted billions of dollars you don't have to go down the reasonable route. Instead you could take all of your money and do something silly with it. Something obnoxious.
A Whole Lot Of Nothing
"Nothing, with that kind of money I could afford not to do anything for a while."
"Anyone with a billion dollars who is still working is a psychopath."
"Buy two senators and make them fight."
"They are surprisingly cheap; can you get a few more and let the rest of us watch?"
Start A Lot Of Beef With A Lot Of People
"I'd employ a law firm that semi-exclusively litigated my petty squabbles with the world. False advertising. Cop car paint colors. Whatever else that bothers me."
There's no explanation for these ones. They say money makes you eccentric and these people's dream purchases are proof of that idea.
Who's Gonna Stop You?
"I would never tell anyone and pull money out of my @ss when i need it."
@ss pennies do give a certain amount of confidence."
Sounds Like A YA Novel In The Making
"I'd build a Hunger Games theme park complete with an Arena and invite 24 children a year."
That's Some Fancy Ketchup, Bro
"I'd still eat Kraft Dinner but with really expensive ketchups. Dijon ketchup."
"And an emu. I bet you always wanted an emu."
Dream big. Have fun imagining your future.
Just don't dream of a death match for kids. That's probably not an ideal way to spend your cash.
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Our interactions with strangers can be pleasant – whether it's a fellow customer at a store smiling at us or talking sports or other mutual interests with a friendly bartender.
But then there are those who you just can't figure out but engage in a conversation with anyway until something in your gut tells you to abort.
Whether it's an ominous situation or a mysterious individual, your instincts telling you something is not right is usually accurate and what happens next depends on whether or not you act on what your inner voice tells you.
"What is Your Best 'I'm in Danger' Story?
These predicaments could have resulted in severe consequences. Or not.
"Driving through jasper on our way to leduc when my dad saw a family on the side of the road looking off into the bush off the side of the road. So we pull over and walk over to ask if they need any help. They say that they saw a bear in there and were throwing rocks at it to get it to come out so they could take pictures. My dad told us to get back to the car and we sped off down the highway. To this day i wonder what happened to those idiots."
"Not me, but a really close friend was going through flight school and they were going through emergency procedures and the instructor asked something along the lines of."
"What would you do if you noticed the power was lost?"
"And at that very moment, the aircraft lost power and my buddy said 'Well that's a neat trick and makes it feel real.' To which the instructor said 'No, that's not me. This is real.' Apparently, my buddy giggled and said 'oh no.'"
"And then they had to crash into the gulf and he swam away."
"I can't think of a better example than that."
The Thing In The Bushes
"When I was about 5-6, my mom and her best friend took us kids out huckleberry picking. We brought a battery power radio so we were making noise and would not startle any wildlife. We were all kind of spread out around these wild berry bushes. The adults heard this snorting, stomping, and sounds of a large animal moving through the dense overgrown areas coming towards us. They freaked out, screaming for us kids to run to them so we could run to the truck together. Moms friend threw her FULL bucket of huckleberries (5 gallon bucket, took all day to fill) at whatever was coming, hoping to distract it..."
"It was a cow."
You never know what strangers are capable of, especially where drugs are involved.
Sacrifice For The Devil
"I used to work in a group home. I was working a night shift and one of the residents was pacing by his room. I asked him what he was doing, he went into his room quickly. I assumed he was on meth since that's what he liked doing. Thought not much of it until a few hours goes by. I go to get some water and heat up my food, and he is standing in the hallway. Again, I ask him how he's doing and try to check in with him. This guy starts speaking in some made-up language in a loud whisper (think Harry Potter talking to the basalisk). He then takes like 4 steps slowly toward me then stops. He says 'I can't stop him forever.'"
"I call police for his and the the safety of the house."
"Police show up and talk to him for a bit in private. One officer comes back to my office and says 'yeeeah, he's not himself right now. Said the date was May 50, 2100.' It was January... and 2015. They took him away. They also found and took a pocket knife off of him and gave it to me for safekeeping."
"Now if that wasn't already messed up, I went back on the security footage and I saw him stand outside of my office door (outside my view) for like 30 minutes without me realizing. Standing still, like in paranormal activity."
"I checked the camera from when he was speaking the weird language, and he was standing there for like 20 minutes heavy breathing before I walked by."
"2 weeks goes by and he's released from the hospital sober and mentally present again. He decided to move out of the house. He came by to grab his stuff, and pulled me aside to apologize. I forgave him and tried to brush it off. Buddy looks me in the eyes and said that he was planning on killing me that night for a blood sacrafice since he was seeing some crazy stuff and he believed a demon was controlling him, but the police ruined his plan."
"I kept the knife as a morbid souvenir."
The following people these Redditors engaged with were very suspect. No drugs were apparently involved, but they were apparently quite mental.
"So, just for context, I'm Scottish. I was on Holiday in Durham and it was late afternoon. We just arrived and we were going to visit the Cathedral."
"So these lads (likely students, they were obviously on a night out or something) came up to me and were like 'hey do you know how to get to so-and-so street' and I was like 'sorry, I'm not from here.' Suddenly the guy got mad and was all 'are you Irish, ARE YOU IRISH?!' And I was like 'No I'm Scottish' (but I was sure I was going to get beaten up because, let's be honest, if he's like this to someone who's Irish then he'll not exactly be hunky Dory with Scots), but when I said that his demenor did a 180 and he was all 'oh right, you're cool, sorry to bother you' and walked off."
"And that's the story of when I was nearly hatecrimed because someone thought I was Irish."
"Went out for a drink with a pretty girl I got talking to on a bus. She was a bit awkward, but seemed kinda fun. She kept talking about her roommate, and the crazy hi-jinks they got up to. She even joked that we would have a threesome if I went back to her place."
"We went back to hers... at which point I found out that her roommate was a barbie doll that she talked to like it was a real person. Her place clearly hadn't been cleaned for years, and the toilet was full of green 'matter.'"
"The final straw for me was when I stepped on her cat's corpse..."
Not The Basement
"Couple of years ago I was picking up a chair I had bought from craigslist. I drove to this guys house and got a creepy vibe instantly when I stepped inside, for reasons I can't really understand to this day. After a minute or so of small talk, where he was mostly busy staring at me and not completely focused on the conversation, he asked me to follow him down to the basement where the chair supposedly was. As he went for the staircase he raised the volume of the music playing to a level that was distinctly louder than normal."
"I noped the f'k out and went straight home again."
In middle school, I was not a popular kid. So it surprised me when my fellow classmates who were viewed as "popular" actually engaged in a conversation with me during lunch when I was sitting by myself.
They asked me what my favorite food was and what TV shows I watched. I genuinely thought they were interested in me, but I was also skeptical about their forced friendliness.
My suspicions were confirmed when, in my peripheral vision, I saw their buddies dragging a trashcan over towards me.
I blurted, "gotta go!" and I darted. Those jerks were going to throw me in the garbage!
Chocolate milk hair and spaghetti sauce-drenched shirt was avoided that day, thanks to my gut instincts. Damn bullies.
Deciding to foster a child, while clearly admirable, is the furthest thing from a no-brainer. So much consideration must go into the decision to provide safety and security to a child who hasn't always had it.
Nobody has ever left a thriving, trauma-free family dynamic and found themselves suddenly plopped into the foster care system.
A child arrives there because the adults in their lives have struggled to give them what they need, be that love, nutrition, physical safety, or stable emotional environments.
So a foster parent enters a child's narrative a little after the fact. That can make the whole experience a real challenge.
Curious to learn the specifics of those challenges, Redditor RaeRai293 asked:
"People who are or have been in the foster system: What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a foster parent?"
Many people unpacked the nuanced dynamics of a well-known element of foster care: children arrive with a history of trauma.
"I had a friend growing in up whose biological parents were foster parents. I remember that when I went round I wasn't allowed alone with certain children there. We are still friends now and said that alot of children are from abusive families, physically, mentally."
"So you need to be prepared to receive children that have experienced horrific things in their life and the baggage that brings."
You Will Not Be Perfect
"Take care of yourself. You are not a superhero. If you don't remember self care (mental, emotional & physical), you will struggle."
"You cannot give from an empty cup and foster kids will drain you. They are suffering from trauma and you will feel that. Don't ignore your needs or they will suffer more."
Prepare for Some Sorrow
"It can be extremely heartbreaking. My aunt and uncle fostered a few kids. The 2 youngest girls were i believe 6 and 4 when they took them in. Their birth mother was an addict and sex worker."
"I remember once we had planned a camping trip."
"When we told them we were going camping they started hysterically crying. I later found out to them 'camping' was sleeping out in the streets."
Coming on the back of those upsetting realities, the foster parent's conduct and parenting style needs to be very deliberate.
"Regardless of how long the kid stays with you, they will remember how you treat them. Be patient, many may not understand what is happening at first. Most will be angry but even if they upset you don't let it show."
It's Not About Your Opinion
"Have lots of empathy for everyone involved. Put aside your judgments and listen. Figure out how you can best serve the kids. There is no magic pill that will help them. It takes time, therapy, patience and a lot of empathy."
Not For No Reason
"go easy on them. We dont act out because we just feel like it or hate you, we act out because we're not used to being treated nicely and in the back of our head we always know that we could be sent away any day so we might not wanna get attached too fast."
"my sister and I went into foster care when we were really young and we came from a very abusive family so we just expected every family to be like that? I'd flinch every time someone tried to touch or hug me and I still don't like it. you just gotta be very patient because you never really know what they went through"
Last, others reminded folks that the point of foster care is to provide temporary safety until the child can, ideally, return home.
For obvious reasons, that's so important for people to get straight.
Know the Goal
"The system is designed to reunify families as its first goal. If you are in it to adopt you will have conflicting priorities. If you're not, you should keep in mind that in order for a successful reunification to happen, you really need to forge a relationship with the bio parent(s) and in a sense, foster them as well."
"Almost all parents who are part of the system probably should have been foster kids based on what they grew up with. Treat the kid (s) as part of your family but recognize the pain of a parent having their child taken away. Regardless of what they did, they are probably hurting"
A Different Thing Entirely
"The goal of foster care is reunification, not adoption. I wish more foster parents understood that. You're not entitled to someone else's child, and foster care is not some free version of adoption."
"It can be a result, but the goal 99% of the time is reunification with bio parents. Also, no matter the situation, there WILL be trauma. It's not easy."
Remind Children Too
"First of all; As a foster you are part of a system trying to reunite families."
"First time children are going to be confused and frightened, reassure them that everyone, including you, is working on getting them back to their family."
"Children that have been in the system before will still be frightened, but might not show it, they may also be scared of going back to their parents."
"Each will be different and you need to adjust to their needs. Emotional and physical."
"Treat them as you treat your own child. This means feeding them the same,(and healthy foods) getting the clothes they need, making sure they get to the dentist and doctor, giving them treats/toys/fun things as well."
"Give them their own safe space."
"Allow them to make choices (which shirt/shoes do you want? Do you like this food? What meal do you want tonight, choice 1 or chose 2?) They have no control in their own lives, this helps give them some control."
"Get them a suitcase, that's theirs, that they can take with them when they move on. Most don't have one."
"Give them an allowance from the money you get for housing them and spend the rest of the money on things they need. It's for them, to help you care from them and it's not yours to vacation on or by your (bio) kid a new iPad."
"THEY WILL REMEMBER YOU FOR THEIR WHOLE LIVES. Someday you may be a horror story about their past, or you may be the one who gets remembered fondly and with love. You dammed better be the one they remember with love."
Perhaps fostering a child has crossed your mind in the past. Here's hoping this list helped you iron out your motives, concerns, and confidence level.
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People Divulge The One Thing They Want To Tell Their Parents But Are Afraid It'll Break Their Hearts
Who knows us better than our parents?
A lot of people, in fact. Not every person's relationship with their parents is perfect, and sometimes people have reasons why they hide things or choose not to be entirely honest that are perfectly valid. It takes a lot of courage to be open––especially if the environment in which we grew up wasn't exactly ideal.
That's what we were reminded of after Redditor Magical-Potato-Chips asked the online community,
"What's something you've wanted to tell your parents but won't because it'll break their hearts?"
"I hate staying..."
"I hate staying in their house when visiting because it is so messy and their dogs are not trained properly and all they do is watch TV all day.
My old room was my one sanctuary, I kept it completely clean and clutter-free, but then my dad took it over, and now it is floor to ceiling stacked with boxes and junk.
I love them to death, but living in all the junk, smells, and rowdy dogs just isn't enjoyable."
"I do think..."
"Probably just a real talk about how abusive my mother was to us. She's mentally ill and I've forgiven her. I do think she tried her best, but she didn't have the right tools to be a good mother. It would stir up more issues than it's worth. I just accept her for who she is."
Sometimes that's easier.
"I was afraid..."
"I slide my feet whenever I walk on wood floors, no matter where, at every age no matter what. I was afraid of my mom knowing I was up and around. The more noise I made, the more negative attention I received."
This is sad. When we hear that "children should be seen and not heard," we should remembeer that these are the consequences.
"I was easily manipulated..."
"Their bad example of love, marriage, and family led me to several abusive relationships. I was easily manipulated because I was terrified of being abandoned."
"That my dad..."
"That my dad dismissing my interests as a child and preteen makes me not want to talk to him. And he's said a decent amount of hurtful things he's never apologized for.
He retired and lives across the country, and I just pretend I'm bad at calling/texting."
"My mom is extremely bad..."
"I was so obedient when I was a child only because I was afraid that I would agitate them and get shouted at any time.
My mom is so proud that she raised an extremely well-behaved and polite daughter. But the only reason I was like that was because I lived in a fear of violating the adults' rules and the consequences. My mom is extremely bad at controlling emotions."
Sometimes talking to a parent can feel like dealing with a land mine.
"I am living with my family of Muslims and I go to a Muslim school and I hate it. My parents will either be really sad or really angry if I tell them I am atheist so I have to be quiet and pretend.
I can't eat, wear or do what I want and I have to constantly listen to teachers and students preaching about death and how I will burn in an eternal flame if I don't believe. It's terrible, sometimes I have doubts and going to school to listen to them talk is legitimately scary."
"That I'm always sweet and agreeable..."
"That I'm always sweet and agreeable not because that's how I really am, but because I'm terrified that they'll kick me out if I disagree too strongly or cause any strife. I'm disabled and can't work. There's nowhere else for me to go.
My parents have never given me any indication that they would do such a thing, but they could, so I can't trust that they never will. I'm always on my guard, trying to figure out what will make them happy and what I need to hide."
My heart breaks for this person.
"That would kill my mother."
"That, yes, my sister is right. You were emotionally abusive when we were kids.
That would kill my mother. She vents to me about how awful it feels to hear that from my sister. She tried her best."
"As a result..."
"I never went to them when I was hurt or needed help because I always knew how stressed they were dealing with their own problems. They didn't hide it well.
As a result, I often feel the desire for attention that I never got, and have to avoid attention-seeking urges. Sometimes I blame it on them, even though I know that isn't fair of me."
Having trouble with your parents?
"Particularly for children who had a difficult relationship with their parents as kids, recognizing a lack of closeness with parents in adulthood can feel like another, added layer of grief. In any case, feeling a distance from one's parents is undoubtedly difficult, but there are some strategies that you can use to cope," writes Dr. Samantha Rodman, a clinical psychologist and columnist with TalkSpace.
Practicing acceptance, focusing on qualities that your parents do have, finding support and solidarity, and being the parent you wish you had can go a long way.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below.
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