Ep.13 - Is It Worth it Going to College Reunions?

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went to our first college reunion: our five-year at Dartmouth. If your five- or ten-year reunion is coming up, you may be wondering, is it worth going? 

Whether it is worth going or not, depends on your answers to these two questions: why are you going and can you afford it



If it takes you more than a minute to come up with a reason, you probably won't miss much by not going.

Much to my surprise, my class of 2012 had a turnout rate of 60%, the highest in the history of the college. Obviously there are strong reasons for people to come back. Do you know what they are? Here are the top three: 

1) Good Ol' Days:

Nostalgia, evidently, is the biggest reason why people go back for reunions. During my trip, some people missed the bread from Molly's, a Hanover favorite, while others missed EBA, a late-night eatery, which was a staple when my wife and I were in school. In fact, people were so nostalgic that EBA was a popular topic at reunion, because PizzaHut apparently drove it out of business just a month before we arrived on campus.

2) Long Time No See

Another huge reason people went back was to meet old friends. This is true for my wife, me, and hundreds of others who were on campus that weekend. Let me ask you this, how often do you talk to your college friends who now live in different cities? Right, not that often at all. This is the primary reason why my wife wanted to go to our five-year reunion, but not mine.

3) The Butterfly Effect

 Many people would only go if one close friend went as well. Let's be honest, most people don't want to go alone. Personally, I went because my wife wanted to go. Plain and simple. This caused a butterfly effect. My best friend, David, decided to go because I said I was going. Then another friend decided to join because David and I were going. In the end, three of my best friends and I not only went to reunion together, we also ended up road tripping back to the West Coast afterwards.



Going to a college reunion is not cheap, especially if you have to fly there. Here is how much it cost me (just one person, excluding my wife) for the weekend. For my trip, there were some extra expenses in Boston, because I flew and stayed in Boston the night before reunion.

1) Transportation: $289

  • 2 Lyft Rides: $40 
  • Flight (LAX - BOS): $216  (I don't have a return flight because I was on a road trip after reunion.)
  • Bus (Boston to Dartmouth): $33

2) Lodging: $100

  • Hotel in Boston : $0 (used points)
  • 2 Nights in the Dorm: $100

3) Reunion Registration: $200

4) Food: $100  

  • During Travel in Boston: $30 for dinner and breakfast.
  • During Reunion: $70. Reunion provides most meals, but we felt nostalgic so we ate at the Hop, a college dining hall, and went to a couple of places in town, Lou's and Molly's.  

5) College Souvenir: $30. You are very likely to buy something when you go as well!

6) Drinks: $0. Unlimited beers and wine! I guess that's where your registration fee goes.

All in all, it cost me a little over $700 for a weekend. I would even say this is a bit low because I did not pay for a return flight, nor the hotel in Boston.  



SO...Was it Worth It For Me?

Yes, absolutely! It was worth it for two reasons. First, my wife and my closest friends went so it was a lot of fun. Second, I had enough money to cover the cost so I was not stressed over it.

Will I return to my ten-year reunion? I would have to say, I would only go if both criteria from above are met when the time comes.

Let me know what you think? Did you go to your college reunion or will you go? 


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