It’s college graduation season, which means that it’s reunion season, too — that time when college alumni go back to their alma mater and drink heavily to forget how old they really are. Here are twenty things that will (probably) happen when you go back to your twentieth college reunion:
1. You’ll get drunker than you have in years. But you won’t be able to sleep in. Instead you’ll wake up bright and early because you have to pee or you’re parched or the sun is in your eyes or the dorm room bunkbed you’re sleeping on feels like a bag of marbles beneath your creaky old spine.
2. You’ll dance like no one is watching. Because they aren’t watching. You’re forty-two, remember. You’ll feel bummed about this for about thirty seconds, and then the D.J. will play “Funky Cold Medina,” and you’ll go right back to dancing like no one is watching.
3. You’ll say to a current student, “Hey, you know who Tone Loc is, right?” You’ll get a blank stare and then a polite shake of the head in return.
4. You won’t remember anyone’s names. But you will remember all the moves to the “Macarena.” You’ll pretend to be annoyed when the D.J. plays this song, but secretly you’ll be thrilled.
5. You’ll think, hey, I could pass for thirty. And then a current student will ask you if you’re back for your thirtieth reunion.
6. You’ll still have moments of feeling socially awkward. But this time around, you’ll realize that everyone else has these moments, too. You’ll also realize that you’ll be having these moments for the rest of your life.
8. You’ll wonder why you were so intimidated by other college students back then. They were just college students, you’ll think now. They didn’t even know how to fry an egg or do their own laundry — much less find the clitoris. (Related: You will realize how much better sex got after college. Especially if you’re a woman.)
9. You’ll feel schadenfreude about someone who was always more attractive or cooler than you in college, and who is now pudgy/bald/divorced. Immediately after, you’ll feel bad for thinking this, and you’ll go over to talk to them to make amends. You’ll find out they’re actually a really good person.
10. You’ll get so drunk that you can’t find your way across campus, and you’ll marvel that you survived four years of college without getting date-raped. You’ll wonder whether times have changed, or men have changed, or you simply got lucky.*
11. You’ll wonder how you can possibly teach your daughter to be strong enough to be safe, and how you can teach your son to be strong enough to be respectful. For a brief micro-second, you’ll consider home-schooling.
12. Despite all this, you will experience overwhelming nostalgia for a time when your only responsibility was to show up to class on time. Or, at least, not be late every time.
13. You and your friends will find yourselves discussing what time you go to bed. (“Yeah, I feel so good if I’m in bed before ten.”) Someone will remark on how old this makes you, so you will stop, but in a matter of minutes you will find yourselves discussing espresso machines or aching limbs.
14. Pretty much everyone’s hair will be thinning a bit. Yep, even the women. Late-night, you may find yourself discussing the benefits of Rogaine.
15. You will remember how good it feels to flirt. With old flames, with friends, and with your spouse, too.
16. You will remember how good pizza tastes at two a.m. But even in your drunken state, you may still decide to dab the extra grease off your slice with napkins.
17. You will have one conversation that will make you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything in the past twenty years. Hey, there’s always going to be one asshole who uses their twentieth reunion to put people down. Move on, get another beer.
18. You will have many more conversations that will make you grateful for all you have accomplished and amassed in the past twenty years. You will toast all this with beer.
19. You will realize that you don’t regret any of it, because regrets are for people who don’t realize how precious life is, and why would you want to undo any of it? Even the hardest parts brought you to where you are now.
20. You will wonder how you spent four years drinking cheap beer. You don’t even like beer.
* If you were one of the unlucky ones: We’re so sorry. And we hope this didn’t keep you away from your twentieth college reunion. If you went back, we hope the trip at least provided some sense of closure.