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Do you fancy emailing your old friend from primary school? Or how about catching up with long lost loves? Are you a sucker for nostalgia, optimistically harking back to those childhood days when life was easy, when your Mum did all the chores, and when the biggest worry you faced was if the person you had a crush on preferred your best mate?
Yep, me too! So when I read Louise (Squiggles)’s opinion on www.friendsreunited.co.uk, I knew it sounded just my sort of thing. I registered straight away, searching for all the schools I went to, as well as the university. It is very easy to do this and if you can’t remember the year you left, you can type in your age and let the site work it out for you.
There are many opinions written about the site itself and how it works, so I want to concentrate on my own personal experience of it. But to give you a few basic ideas, you can check out your old schools and look at various message boards, add photos and write your school memories.
But the main point of the website is to contact old school friends. Once you have found your school, a list will come up of all the people registered on the website who have been to that school. It is listed chronologically, so you can skim over the pupils you wouldn’t have known.
When you find a name that sounds familiar, you can click to see their notes, if they have submitted any. This is usually a few lines to let you know what they are doing these days. Then if you want to email them, you click on the envelope icon and compose a message on site which is sent to them. They reply (or not) and the rest is up to you.
Most of this is free, except being able to use the email function, which costs £5 per year for unlimited use. I paid easily with a credit card online, no problems and didn’t take too long either.
I had regularly been visiting the site to check out who had joined since I last looked. You can set up an email notification which tells you how many people have recently joined your schools lists and from which year. You can then click on the link to take you straight through to the homepage.
I finally got round to paying last night. I had seen several names I remembered, but none had really jumped out the page at me until I saw a name of a girl I was in school with in 1978. Someone I hadn’t seen for 23 years!
So that swung it, I signed up there and then as a fully paid up member and got to work, emailing six people I remembered. So far, I’ve had replies back from three of them, which is brilliant! I am excitedly watching my inbox now, to see if there are any new emails coming in and it’s great to catch up with people and to find out how they’re doing, all these years on.
I would definitely recommend the website to anyone. The only problem with it really is that if your old school friends aren't registered, it doesn't help you find them! Rather obvious, but true nonetheless.
My Mum has signed up and not found anyone she knows, as most of the site users are much younger. But then again, statistically, it is probably more likely a 30-something will be online than a 50-something. There are also more men on the website than women, which can be a bit annoying for us girlies.
But this is only a small disadvantage and with the site getting more publicity, hopefully the database will increase and more people will be successfully reunited with their former best friends, first loves and maybe even, worst enemies! I’ll look forward to reading your experiences.
There ARE some 50 somethings out here!! I am registered with friend ReUnited, and there are tons of names I remember from school and college. I haven't got round to paying my £5 yet, so have not tried to contact anyone yet.(But will do, no doubt!)
frannie 22.07.2001 22:16
i've signed up to this (though not the e-mailing bit yet) and have been in contact with someone iwent to school with right from reception class at 4 years old through to leaving senior school! to make an even bigger coincidence, he works inthe same place as my husband! have seen a few namesi rcognise so i'm going to have to cough up that fiver!
princesssoapy 01.07.2001 11:41
brilliant op on a brilliant website i too have found a frind that i haven't seen for abot 16 years, its amazing, Amanda..