In all honesty, how were your high school reunions?

Just curious on how old classmates would perceive/judge you after learning that you work at Wall Street. Also, what were you like during high school and how did that change throughout college and your career at Wall Street?

Comments (60)

Jul 28, 2020 - 10:22pm

My two is a marathon, not a sprint. When you watch the NYC marathon, you're concerned about the last couple of miles, not who got off to a hot start.

What I'm saying this, essentially, there should only be the 5 year reunion, and the 50 year. I want to see who effectively won the race of life, not someone who did okay for 10 years, then fell off.

And with facebook/IG/social media, reunions should almost be eliminated.

Jul 29, 2020 - 5:59pm

TIL I missed my 5, 10, 15 year high school reunions. Never even thought about them.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
  • 1
Jul 29, 2020 - 9:43am

I have not attended any of my high school reunions and I do not intend to attend any future high school reunions.

If you are working at a bank to impress your high school classmates and say things like "working on Wall Street", you are destined to fail and are a colossal dong. Nobody is going to give a fuck that you are in banking. It's not impressive to anyone that has anything real going on in their lives.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jul 30, 2020 - 6:39pm

I mean this should be the right answer, but I don't think it's true. Unfortunately, people DO care that you work as an investment banker, that you made over 150k at 22, etc etc etc. Usually, at least in my experience, it's the people that didn't want to talk to you back then (the "popular clique") but do now that you pulled up in an AMG Mercedes. Fuck them though, stick to your real homies.

Jul 31, 2020 - 9:26am

Nobody that is an Analyst owns an AMG Mercedes unless their daddy bought it for them, they make outrageously bad decisions, or are (see above) a colossal dong. I promise you, nobody knows the difference between working in M&A and being a bank teller. Everybody is just going to think you're some chump that looks noticeably shittier than everyone else because of how little sleep you get, unless you are going around yelling about your level of compensation, which again, makes you a dong.

This is what I'm talking about. If you're in banking to "stick it" to people that didn't give you the time of day in high school, you're going to wash out, and you're going to be disappointed to know that being in banking impresses nobody but Sophomore Econ Major hardos.

Most Helpful
Jul 29, 2020 - 10:42am

Went to my 5-year and 10-year reunions. For some reason no one organized a 15-year.

  • No one cares if you're in banking or private equity or whatever.
  • You'll probably spend most of the time socializing with the friends from high school that you kept in touch with.
  • It can be really interesting to see how people have changed since high school. A lot of it is predictable. In my case, people who slacked off in high school also seemed to slack off in college. - The hardworking people have solid careers. The really kind/sweet girls are all married or in serious relationships.
  • The most interesting people are the outlier cases. Some athletes gained a ton of weight because they kept drinking and stopped playing sports. One girl did a porn video that got circulated around the class. Some socially awkward people really came out of their shell and thrived.

Perhaps the most interesting of all is how you now view your classmates since your own world view has changed. In high school we were all just kids and I didn't notice the major differences in backgrounds. For example, one guy moved to the USA from Germany in middle school and probably went through a major culture shock when he arrived. Only now do I have an appreciation of what that must have been like and how it affected him when he joined the class. It can be a good thought exercise to reflect back on your childhood with your renewed perspective.


  • 24
Jul 29, 2020 - 12:37pm

Like you, my 5-year reunion wasn't too eventful. And people more or less didn't change much.

I'd say 20% of my classmates who showed up ended up in finance.

Not sure whether or not it's because I went to an international school in Asia, where finance is sort of the default career option (other than med/law, that is). There were of course the low-effort folks who somehow all ended up in "Marketing".

Kidding aside,

Perhaps the 10-year reunion next year might be a better representative picture of how my class is doing in life.

Lastly, I agree with your point about perspective; I'd add that the 5-year reunion was just one year after college.

So many of us haven't had the requisite life experience yet to appreciate or even acquire the gift of perspective. By the time the 10-year reunion comes, I'm sure it'll be something to look forward to.

  • 94
Jul 29, 2020 - 10:47am

We (normally) do twice yearly things at a bar in addition to the normal stuff. It's NBD, even if I am the only guy in AM. There are a couple guys in RE, and a guy working for a boutique PE shop in CT. The guy working for Apollo doesn't normally show, and most of the rest are lawyers or engineers. I really wish that we'd pick better bars though. They're all insipid junk in midtown east.

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
Jul 29, 2020 - 12:38pm

Went to one a few years ago now. It was interesting - somewhat self selecting, as most of the people who came back had done some interesting things, had careers, etc. I also went to a very, very small high school - so that helped as well obviously. It was nice to catch up with folks - don't feel compelled to go back for a good while.

As far as differences - the vast majority of people don't even recognize me, if they haven't seen me since. Really grew up and lost a lot of weight - I've always looked younger than my age, this helped of course.

Personality wise - a lot more outgoing, social, extroverted than I used to be. I was always an 'extrovert' (in the sense I generally find energy from being with others) but was never as social as I am today. I've also grown quite a bit in my interests - I was a history nut in high school, and through much of college. Now i'm still interested - but never pursued a career that utilized that. Many of the other hobbies and/or interests haven't changed - still into sports, technology, etc. Just have less time to impart on them, but more money to. Blah.

After college - first few years, I basically kept college going. Not great for your career. Not great for much of anything, honestly, but what did I know. Over the past five years I've matured considerably - taken my career more seriously, relationship more seriously and really started to work on myself emotionally vs. purely physically or mentally. Summing it up - I've grown up, and embraced growing up vs. thinking I need to stay in a perpetual state of youth, absconding responsibility.

Jul 29, 2020 - 3:07pm

Fine. Nobody really gives a fuck about what I do or what I make, especially my close friends who I have stayed in close contact with. They judge me by the quality of my character, not my income. People were actually a lot more open than they may have been in high school, and I was pleasantly surprised to have nice chats with people I didn't really expect to spend so much time talking to. One kid I played football with but wasn't super close with is actually in NY too, and we hung out a few times after the reunion and have become friends quickly. Some people asked what I did, and if they studied finance or worked in the industry and knew what banking was, they would typically respond with a "oh cool how is it?" or a "wow, how are the hours lol?". Some people might have asked one or two questions more specifically about what my work was like, to which I would answer honestly. It was a five year reunion. Yes I make decent money but in the greater scheme of things, analysts aren't rich or super successful or any dumb shit like that.

I find it hard to believe that I would be ostracized because people are jealous of my job. Apparently it does happen but I really only see it ever being real when the person who shuns you for it is a much larger PoS than you ever thought, or if the banker are a shitty self absorbed tool who loves to shove his career and being on wAlL sTrEeT down everyones throat.

  • 5
Jul 29, 2020 - 3:53pm

How do first year analysts make time to go to their 5yr reunions?

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.

Jul 29, 2020 - 4:52pm

My reunions were always held over Thanksgiving. So most people, including bankers, were home for the holidays.


  • 2
Jul 29, 2020 - 7:36pm

It was great, I highly recommend going to any with an open mind to rediscover new people. You can always fall back to old memories if things get slow in conversation. HS was your tribe for awhile, it's fun to reexamine your roots and the people who made (varying) impacts on your life

Jul 29, 2020 - 8:12pm

Pretty much everyone I went to high school with is a criminal or works some shit entry level job

So nah I wouldn't go to a reunion it's hard for me to relate to people in my past anymore, no shade, but we went down different paths

Jul 30, 2020 - 10:23am


Pretty much everyone I went to high school with is a criminal or works some shit entry level job

So nah I wouldn't go to a reunion it's hard for me to relate to people in my past anymore, no shade, but we went down different paths

Get out of your comfort zone. I'm lucky where I went to a place where everybody went to a four year school except one (He was listed in Zagat's 30 under 30 chefs to watch) but I had a bit of failure to launch post college.

I wasn't doing bad, but wasn't doing great. One of my early NYC roommates ended up moving back to Cali, and spent some time at Cal St. (I don't mean the college) He has changed a bit but helps pull me out of the bubble that is the high finance world.

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
  • 2
Jul 31, 2020 - 2:52pm

I've done some scouting just to see where my ex-classmates are. I see a lot of people who are doing "fine" given where I'm from and the person that they were back in HS.

What exactly do you envision happening at one of these events that is so positive? I feel like you're making a mistake by assuming that engaging with this group of people would bring back more good memories than bad. For every good/funny memory there's 3 bad ones. Maybe more.

So yeah, I'm with Gordon - I can't relate to those people and I'm grateful that none of them have tried reaching out because their acceptance now means nothing if they weren't willing to accept me back then. I'm perfectly fine making new friends who aren't as successful as me, I just want that clean slate because with that group of people, I will only be remembered for who I was back then and that really does infuriate me.

/rant over

Jul 29, 2020 - 9:46pm

Mine were somewhat mediocre. As someone already noted, I spent most of it hanging out with the handful of high school friends that I keep in touch with and already hang out with when i'm in the area. I grew up in a very rural area so 90% have no idea what I even do, nor do they care one bit, which may have been my favorite part of the entire reunion.

The fun part (which social media slightly robs) is the random people that do some really weird shit these days. Like one kid is a monk now? Some girl is a yogi at some sanctuary in California and I don't think she showers anymore. I also came from a big football high school so we have a few NFL players; those guys just live differently than all of us.

Jul 30, 2020 - 6:38pm

Out of curiosity, why? It can be fun to reconnect with people you haven't seen in a while and if anything, an excuse to drink with people.

  • 1
Jul 31, 2020 - 5:09pm

You're totally right. Anyone who wants to reconnect with old friends and hang out with other people must have a really pathetic life. Screw interpersonal relationships, all that matters is work, work, work.

Jul 30, 2020 - 7:28am

In my experience there's a lot of reversion to the mean. Kids tend to be more similar pre-adolescence, and around maybe thirteen they diverge a lot. So in high school you get these stereotypical types that are really different from each other: the super-jock guys, the mean girls, the musicians, the smart nerds, the tightly-wound girl obsessed with getting an A+ in every class.

Then after a while, as adults, people start to get more similar again. The jocks who used to bully people mellow out a little. The nerds dress better and their social skills improve somewhat. The hot girls become somewhat less hot, and some of the less attractive girls work on themselves and get more attractive. The kids who cared only about music get normal jobs and just jam out on the weekends occasionally. The guy you vaguely worried might shoot up the school one day becomes a suburban dad with a couple of kids.

Not all- some fall off the face of the earth, or end up doing bizarre things you'd never have predicted (although I bet even a lot of them will be more normal when they're fifty).

Jul 31, 2020 - 2:40pm

The dude I was mildly worried about shooting up the school posted something about ABGs ruining racial purity. Now he has an Asian gf...

My closest HS friend followed him on IG and showed me.

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Jul 30, 2020 - 1:25pm

I went to a school where my class was 15 people and my 3 closest friends were part of that and so I wouldn't really have any reason to go.

My friend went to a prestigious private Catholic school in the Midwest and they have one every year with a boxing match and tons of boos. There is this one guy who always boxed and TKO'd his opponent the 3 years my friend went. The dude was huge like 6'4" 225, and they couldn't find anyone to match up against him this past year, so one guy who my friend knew who was always super lazy in HS and basically known as the redneck beer belly kinda guy volunteered(The dudes nickname was literally hambone). All his friends ragged on him about how he's gonna get wrecked, but he said he was going to train. They released hype videos for the fight and everything. When the reunion happened they had the whole show going with the intros and walkins like it was WWE, there was like 500 people there because you are allowed to take your spouses, it was kinda crazy. Hambone comes out of the bell and just superman punches the guy and knocks the huge guy out in one punch and everyone was going crazy.

My friend showed me the video that someone uploads every reunion so I could verify, but it really puts into perspective the differences between my school with such little funding versus his haha.

Jul 30, 2020 - 3:52pm

Not old enough for a 10 year reunion yet but we're all in a Facebook group and I have met up with a few of the people I liked a lot from high school. There's only 4 - 5 of them so I stay in touch. Not sure I would bother flying back for a reunion as I think most of my classmates are incredibly boring.

Jul 30, 2020 - 5:43pm

I didn't go to my five year and didn't really feel the need. Everyone was still in the area or kept up on Facebook messenger, etc. Everyone was just out of college and not much had changed. Having said that, I had my 10 year last year and I would say it was worthwhile to attend.

As you get older and people spread out you realize it has been ten years since you saw some friends that you used to see every day for years at a time, especially some very forming years. People move away, get married, have kids. Time moves on.

As mentioned above, it is funny to see how people's lives are 10 years out. Some kids gained 50 pounds, some lost 30. Some came out of their shell and majority of girls were engaged/married while probably half the guys weren't. My ex ended up getting engaged to a kid in my grade so that gave me a laugh. Life is wild man.

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  • VP in IB-M&A
Jul 30, 2020 - 8:35pm

Completely forgot about my 10 yr HS reunion. Randomly came across the invite as I was cleaning out my FB after it took place. Browsed through the group and photos uploaded. Looked horrid. Glad I didn't attend.

Jul 30, 2020 - 9:56pm

Missed each official HS until 25th and only attended that one. Close friends with several classmates and we got together a lot depending on where we lived.

My high school was an affluent public school but rather occupy wall street-ish... so I was low key. Wide variety of success and simmering bitterness from some who are smart but not driven. Some very successful folks are not book smart but very driven in sales.

My undergrad and MBA were both very solid and everyone there $$$ oriented and comfortable with Wall Street - I have gotten together for events like fundraisers with my classes but not formal reunions. These have been fun, easy to discuss what I do, and good to network for my kid's internships and to help classmates in need.

  • 1
Jul 31, 2020 - 1:51pm

They think I'm a teller. I graduated from a title 1 school. Most of my high school classmates have no idea what investment banking or consulting is. And the ones that do don't go to high school reunions

Jul 31, 2020 - 2:13pm


For the record, not REPE

...but is it REPE?
  • 1
  • VP in S&T - FI
Aug 1, 2020 - 1:22am

Grew up in a major metro of a flyover state so most of the people I went to HS with have no idea what I do nor would they care. I would say a very large portion of my HS class went to a 4yr college and most of them finished, so most people have some sort of professional job, so I would fit into that category.

I went to both my 5 and 10yr just b/c I was in town for thanksgiving and it was an excuse to get away from family. 5yr everyone is pretty much the same, nobody has really done anything and most are still figuring it out, the 10yr was a bit more interesting. My class was around 250 or so and I would say around 75-100 showed up, sadly it was exactly the people you would expect. Normal job, normal life, nothing too unique to talk about but good people and nice to chat for 5 mins and catch up. Nothing you would not expect from them. That kid you sat next to in Spanish class who watched get taken out of class by the cops 5 times in a semester for bringing drugs or weapons to school is not coming back to talk about how he is the next coming of Pablo Escobar, or the girl who was sucking dudes off in the bathroom is not going to be there talking about how well her high end escort business/porn career is going.

Never went to a college reunion, just too far from where I live now and I stay in touch a good number people and see them at weddings, bachelor parties, and various trips so never felt the need to go. There is a decent number of people who work in finance that I went to college with that I am not in contact with so it might not be a bad idea to try to go next time.

Aug 1, 2020 - 1:43am

My high school reunion was the night of my life. I thought it would be boring, but i should have known it would be fun, I am the energy. Nothing like dropping 10 stacks on a table with all of your exs. It could have been them. They say they want a man with big money well I not only have Big money but a big something else but they couldn't handle me. I know Becky thinks about those times back in high school under the bleachers. But alas she now has a Bernie, the poor mans Steven Lopez. Less money and not as good a kisser. Enjoy Bernie, Becky. If i had know being on Wall Street was going to be as awesome as it is, I would have been looking to the reunion more. Found a smoking hot babe my first day on Wall Street. If I had known my Superday interviewer was going to be babelicious, I wouldn't have prepared with so much booze and cocaine. Now watching all my classmates jaw drop, I know I've made it. They can't even understand the $10,000 suit because they've never seen one. Some clown named Thomas tried to tell me about his startup, I offered him $5 for it because thats what it's going to be worth in six months. Lesson learned, if you want to be better than everyone at your high school, go into finance. Then don't be worried to flaunt it when they see you again. It could have been them, but it's not

Aug 2, 2020 - 1:38pm

I feel like this is what a lot of people envision and nobody ever experiences

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