Ok ladies, it’s prom season. NOBODY PANIC! Have you got your dress? Shoes? A makeup look? A date? NO?! What’s wrong with you?! I’m kidding, of course. Prom season can be a hectic time of year. Not only will you be scrambling to get all of the above into place, you’ll probably also be juggling your ever important school work before the glorious summer vacay begins. If that’s not stressful, then I don’t know what is.
Speaking as a brit from across that giant pond called the Atlantic, the whole prom thing is still a relatively new concept for us, which we have most definitely borrowed from you guys (thanks, much obliged!) No, our proms aren’t like the balls in Pride and Prejudice or Downton Abbey (though that would make for an awesome theme, right?!) They’re actually pretty similar to yours; we buy the dresses, we rent the limos, and we spend months and months endlessly talking about how its going to be the best night ever. My prom was the coolest. I wore a full-length gown for the first time in my life, I had my hair styled especially and my friends and I rented a firetruck (yes, a freakin’ firetruck!) to take us to the venue. The only thing I didn’t have was a date and here’s why it didn’t matter one bit:
Read these words and remember them well: It’s perfectly ok to not have a date for prom. It’s totally cool if nobody asks you on a giant billboard, in a video or by writing it on your car and it’s not stupid to want to go alone or with your friends. The only thing that’s stupid is to ask someone or say yes to someone because you feel you (dangerous word approaching) should. Prom is cloaked in tradition, a large part of which is finding someone to go with. That’s the very reason why Promposal videos start sprouting up at this time of the year and why most of us sit and wonder whether anyone is going to ask us. It’s natural to feel that way; it’s normal to want someone to ask us because it’s super awesome to think that someone likes you enough to want to spend that special evening with you, but you know what else is super awesome? Deciding that it doesn’t matter if you’re turned down or nobody asks you and committing to enjoying the evening regardless of who you do or don’t go with.
Take it from someone who wasn’t asked and who was too chicken to ask anyone themselves: prom will still be just as special, just as memorable and just as fun if you go alone or with your friends than if you go with a date. I promise you that in years to come, when you look back on that night (which you definitely will), you’ll never think, ‘I would have had a much better time if I’d had a date.’ The things I remember are how amazing everyone looked, how it didn’t matter that evening who you were and what clique or friendship circle you belonged to and the recurring thought that I had such a lot of exciting things to look forward to. I still look back on that time as one of the happiest in my life thus far and it had absolutely nothing to do with being asked to prom.
That’s not to say, by any means, that having a date to prom is overrated or pointless. If you’ve been asked by someone you like or if you’re the one doing the asking, I say go for it with guns blazing. Sharing that evening with your special someone, I imagine, is also unforgettable, but please don’t think for a second that if you’re not in this position, you won’t have the time of your life too, because I promise you that you will. You’ve probably heard this before, but finding strength and self-belief from within is invaluable. Being mean to yourself and denying yourself a good time simply because you’ve not got a date for prom will only hinder you from developing that self-confidence. So, instead, choose to see the experience of flying solo at prom as just one way to cultivate that vitally important life skill and, at the same time, have the time of your life!