The ones that were left behind presumably grew up and graduated. Avengers Endgame Thanos infinity gauntlet and snapped his hands shirt. The ones that had vanished were enrolled back into school at whatever grade level they were in. Therefore, half the student body would be the previously vanished kids and the other half would be kids the vanished wouldn’t recognize. That doesn’t explain, however, why peter parker and Ned (his bff), had such an emotional reunion. Which would mean they would have only been separated (from their perspective) a matter of days. The only canonical explanation I can think of is that Ned didn’t know for sure whether Peter survived the battle with Thanos and his army. I think this is unlikely because one of the first things Peter probably did after the battle was call up his BFF to be all like, “Dude! We totally kicked Thanos’ ass. It was EPIC!”.
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So the reunion they had, I assume, was really for the audience. Avengers Endgame Thanos infinity gauntlet and snapped his hands shirt. Ned was the character through which the fans could tell Spiderman, “Good to see you back, buddy!”. It’s a meta-commentary, which I don’t love, but the scene was pretty short and it was emotionally effective. So unless someone has a better (canonical) explanation, that’s what I’ll be going with. Okay well, when the vanished came back it took them a few minutes. Or so to all show up to that epic battle scene of all the Avengers. Then they fought Thanos and his army which had to last probably a good chunk of time so while. Now if Ned vanished, when he became un-vanished, his first thought of his best friend Peter would’ve been his memory of him going off to fight the big space ship in the sky, not knowing how Peter turned out.
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That’s true. It’s certainly plausible PP just had too much on his mind to give Ned a call to tell him he’s okay. Avengers Endgame Thanos infinity gauntlet and snapped his hands shirt. So I guess I’m back to thinking Ned was excited to see. Because he wasn’t sure if he survived the battle. Either way, I don’t think Ned’s excitement is a post vanishing reunion excitement. From his perspective, it had only been a day or two since he’d seen PP. It was 5 years outside of the stone as well, so 5 years outside is still 5 years. I get why Peter Parker didn’t age but that doesn’t explain. Why the other kids not in the stone didn’t age.