When was the last time your childhood or high school friends got together?
That was the question posed to me last week as I reconnected with my high school best friend who I haven’t met in over five years.
A few weeks ago, we had agreed to meet together to visit the wake of a former high school teacher. Not only was I surprised to learn that like me, he had also been under the tutelage of that teacher, but that he himself made the initiative to contact me. After all, we hadn’t been sending messages since I last met him face-to-face (incidentally, that was also when the father of another mutual friend passed away in 2017).
As it turned out, only the two of us were able to make it to the wake. And like what I had expected (from our experiences in high school, when fun-filled conversations would take up our spare time), we had endless topics to talk about.
And one of them was the inevitable question I’m sure everyone who has gone through high school and college would probably ask ten or twenty years after graduation: where are they now?
I hadn’t met many of our high school friends since we graduated from a private sectarian high school here in San Pedro City way back in 2010. I think it was just 10 to 12 of us who later enrolled at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ (PUP) main campus in Santa Mesa, Manila, four of us in the same college. And since we all enrolled in different courses, those times that we even met are few and far between.
I consider it lucky that my best friend and I even got together, as he wound up enrolling at a private college in Intramuros. Every once in a while, we’d agree to meet together, which for me meant catching a bus from Santa Mesa to Lawton so that we could commute together to San Pedro, sharing stories along the way.
Alas, those days came to an end when we all graduated from college and began navigating our own separate ways through adult life. Conflicting schedules also meant that get-togethers, even when planned meticulously, can sometimes get cancelled at the last moment.
One of our former teachers who also attended that wake my best friend and I both went to had this to say on her social media account, after posting photos of her fellow former teachers getting together at the wake: “Sana next time, huwag naman sa ganitong sitwasyon tayo mag-reunion!”
It’s sad that it had to take the death of a close friend or a relative to get friends to get back together. Not only does your reunion start off on a sad note, that tends to take away whatever joy one feels in reconnecting with your peers and sharing the experiences they’ve gone through.
So if you and your friends are planning to get together for whatever remains of the summer season, I have one piece of advice: do it. Don’t let schedule conflicts get in your way. We all need to get away from the stresses of life and have a single day when we can forget, even for a moment, our own troubles and just luxuriate just on being alive.