On with the dance: prom date doesn’t matter

As prom approaches, two questions creep up upon most teenagers: should I go to prom and should I go to prom with a date? The answer is, it’s up to you.

In the media and movies, prom is held in the gymnasium, everyone becomes best friends on this magical night, the prom queen gives away or breaks her tiara out of humility, and your date will ultimately be the love of your life as you two share a kiss and the camera pans away into rolling credits.

Well, life isn’t a Disney Channel Original Movie, and prom doesn’t work like that.

Coming from someone who has attended the event before, prom is much more casual than what the media portrays. Sure, it’s grand because the girls get to dress up extravagantly for one night while the boys get to go through the grueling process of matching and getting corsages, but it’s just like any other dance – a deejay playing the “Cupid Shuffle” and a throng of sweaty teenagers dancing into the early morning.

With that said, I can see why people would want a date to prom. The common reason is that everyone has a date, and you don’t want to be the odd one out by not having one, standing in a corner and forgetting how to socialize. Besides the crippling fear of being alone, going to prom with a date allows you to blend in. On this evening, you’re not the awkward, weird kid posing next to an imaginary date or “doing the sprinkler” beneath the disco ball. You can fit in anywhere with your plus one whether it be professional to goofy photos or slow dances to hippity-hoppity tunes. However, things get out of control on prom night, and you two may get separated. And the worst part is, you hardly noticed your date was gone because you were too “turnt up” with Lil Jon and throwback songs from middle school.

Nonetheless, going to prom by yourself has its perks too. For one thing, you don’t have to match with anyone. Just show up to prom in all your glory. You can join in any photos with your peers, just not the couple ones, and that’s okay since you’re not the only one attending prom alone. You can arrive and leave prom at your leisure. You can go anywhere without consulting anyone except maybe your parents or guardians. Going to prom by yourself gives you more freedom to socialize, interact, and dance among cliques, but it might get uncomfortable when you realize you don’t belong anywhere or with anyone because everyone is coupled up and mingling with other couples. Just as you came to prom alone, you may spend the night alone too.

But in the long run, none of this even matters.

After all, prom is a celebration, a last hurrah to the fact that you made it this far. It’s a last rendezvous with seniors and the people that have been with you throughout your high school life. So, as long as you have fun, going to prom with a date or without a date doesn’t even matter because it’s the night that counts and the memories you’ll make. You’re not going to have a perfect prom nor will you have a perfect night, but at least it’ll be worth remembering.

So don’t overthink about whether or not you should go to prom with a date.

In the end, it’s up to you and what you make of it.