Prom is an important part of the teenage experience. At least, this is what everyone wants you to believe — but I'm here to tell you it's just not true. Prom movies may trick you into thinking it's going to be the biggest night of your life, but prom is really not a big deal. In fact, it's kind of like the Oscars. It's a fun event where everyone gets together, looks their best, and celebrates the approaching end of awards season — er, I mean the school year. But if an A-list Hollywood star doesn't make it to the Oscars, or for whatever reason is not invited, do you think it really makes a negative impact on their lives in the long run? No. And the same is true for prom.
You should absolutely take any chance you can get to make memories with the people you love, but if you can't make it to prom, it's not the end of the world. There will always be another party. Also, there's so much pressure centered around finding "the right dress" and "the perfect date" that by the end of the night, you will absolutely be disappointed. It's inevitable when your expectations are far too high to be met. And that's not even your fault, because TV, department stores, and high school culture have created a hideously large compilation of unrealistic prom expectations, and have unleashed them like a ball of fiery dragon breath upon the world. It's just gross. So if you decide to skip prom altogether this year, you really won't be missing out on much. And if you go, just go into it with realistic expectations. Prom is not a big deal, and here's why.
1. Because you will not marry your prom date
I don't care if you're madly in love with them right now and they created the sweetest, most Instagram-worthy promposal the universe has ever seen — you're not going to be with them 4ever. The odds are just not in your favor, and you don't want them to be anyway. So having the "perfect" date on the "perfect" night doesn't really matter, because prom will soon become a distant memory.
2. Because it will never live up to the hype
You are programmed in high school to want it all on prom, and once you fall short, you will be bummed. Your updo might get wet from rain, your heel might break, your dinner might suck, and the after-prom party might get broken up by angry parents or intimidating cops. Don't go into the evening thinking it will be like Cinderella at the ball, or you will soon be wearing a frown that cannot be turned upside down.
3. Because someone else is probably wearing the same dress
If you live in a small town, the chances of this happening are tripled. There are only a few stores to choose from, and you need to accept this reality. So if and when this happens, just roll with it, and take some funny photos with your dress twin.
4. Because there are so many cooler parties to go to after high school
Listen, because you're young and can't legally drink and probably have a curfew, this isn't going to be the best party you will ever attend. Even if the after party is bonkers cool with a DJ and several bottles of cheap vodka, it's not the end-all be-all of parties. College is coming, and every weekend will feel like prom on steroids. Just you wait.
5. Because it's expensive
The dress, the shoes, the hair, the ticket — it adds up quickly. Isn't there a better way to spend that money? Like, on your first car? Or maybe a summer trip with your BFFs? Or something else that's cool and you'll actually get more use out of?
6. Because promposals are getting ridiculous
It seemed like this trend began with Laguna Beach, and it has spiraled out of control ever since. This is a one-night companion commitment, so does it really need a message delivered by blimp? No, it really doesn't.
7. Because it's nothing like on TV
Prom looks AWESOME on TV, doesn't it? Everyone is pretty, everyone is happy, and everyone is having "OMG, THE BEST NIGHT EVERRRRRR." Don't get me wrong — you'll have fun. But time will not stand still when you and your date slow-dance to (insert love song by Sam Smith here), and you will not look 100 percent flawless from beginning to end. Your hair will get flat, and your date might annoy you. Unless you plan a night like Zack and Kelly did, boycotting prom in their sweatshirts, it won't be like it is on the small screen.
8. Because it celebrates romance over friendships
Your high school boyfriend or girlfriend will not be in your life for all eternity, but your current BFFs might. THAT relationship is the one that will stick, so why isn't it given center stage on a night like this? Portraits should include shots with friends looking gorgeous together, and if you decide you don't want to go with a date and just hang with your buds, there should be zero judging eyes in your direction. ZERO.
Image: Touchstone; Giphy (8)