• Fri, Apr 15 2011

I Remember Prom: I Didn’t Go

I wanted to write this for the girl or guy who was like me in high school with no interest in prom. “Prom season” can cause so much pressure to plan the “perfect evening” for what is, lets face it, a very insignificant night of your life. I wanted to let any girl or guy questioning going to prom know they don’t have to. Don’t let people make you feel like it’s a contractual obligation. I didn’t attend my senior prom and I’ve never looked back. I had a really fun night with friends and don’t feel like I missed out on some landmark event in my life.

The whole idea of prom makes me roll my eyes. I’m not sure what American women’s obsession with creating pressure-filled “one night only” events like prom and their wedding. I have no interest in either. We build up so much stress and anxiety over this “special day”? In the end we can’t even enjoy the night when it’s happening. Why would someone to put themselves through that?

I wasn’t that into the idea of prom, but figured I’d see what the hype was about junior year. I attended with no date, just friends, and wore a suit instead of a dress. I was such a rebel! Honestly, it was an awful night. So for senior year, I talked some friends who didn’t find dates into having a girl’s night in. We had a slumber party. We wore pajamas, ate pizza, and watched movies. And it was a MUCH better night than junior year. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

If you want to go to prom, then go. I’m not try to persuade you otherwise. I just wanted to give my two cents about not going, since usually you only hear the stories about why prom was so amazing. There was a week about regrets on The Gloss, and while I was impressed with the stories, I don’t like to regret things in life. Now at 25, I don’t regret ever not attending prom and I definitely wouldn’t hype it up to the next generation, whether it be my niece or daughter. Some people do have the “night of their lives” but it’s not for all of us.

When you’re in high school, you are in such a bubble. You think that is your whole world and failing a test will end your chances of getting into that great college. You eventually learn that it was all crap and those four years don’t amount to very much in your very long life span. So while you may feel that you have to have this awesome time at prom, it will probably be like most things in high school… not that big of a deal. You’ll have plenty of chances to dress up in the future. Do what you want but not because there’s peer and societal pressure to do so, but because it’s what YOU want to do.

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  • Arnie

    YES! Thank you!
    I was almost exactly the same as you. My 6th form year I had a group of friends around to my house, and we sat around in our pyjamas watching movies and playing ‘never have I ever’, and it was so much more fun than going to the ball. Much cheaper, too.

    7th form I caved, and went with a bunch of friends. I wore a tux, and took a female friend, who’d left our school and gone to uni a year early, as my ‘date’. We had quite a bit of fun making a few of the high-minded popular sorts think we were an item. It was fun enough, but the best part of the night was still hanging out in our pyjamas back at my place and filling up on toasties.

    • Kimberlee

      Aw I’m glad you liked my post!

  • http://girlyfashiontrends.com Ashley

    Great post! I couldn’t agree with you more that in the grand scheme of life, prom and high school dances don’t amount to a hill of beans. Unfortunately many ladies in high school are still struggling to find themselves and be their own person. If only people take advice from older and wiser ladies who.have been there.

    I almost didn’t attend my senior prom bc I didn’t have a date, and like you, wasn’t that into going and bumping and grinding with guys I wouldnt keep in contact with after graduation. Ultimately I went with a.group of my girl friends and had a pretty decent time. Just goes to show that spending time with your girls outweighs an awkward formal date with your friends cousins brother anyday. Lol

    Thanks for the post!

    • Kimberlee

      I love the analogy “hill of beans” haha! Oh yes, I had no interest in bumping and grinding with ANY of the guys in my school. Thanks for reading :)

  • Eileen

    I totally agree. I went to my senior prom, but in a friend’s car rather than a limo, without a date, wearing a dress that my mother made (okay, that doesn’t count ’cause she makes awesome dresses), and having done my own hair and makeup. The food was fine, I hung out with my friends, I danced a bit, and then I went home. It was fun, but I’ve had a lot of nights that were more fun.

    • Kimberlee

      That’s so awesome your mom makes dresses! Great way to save money ;) Yes, there are so much funner nights haha

  • Katie

    I totally agree! I will likely attend next year, but I didn’t feel like going this year(my junior year).It just seems silly to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress I’m only going to wear once and pay for the ticket, manicure, hair-do, and photos for one stupid night.

    • Kimberlee

      Have a night with your friends and give each other manis! hehe Well have fun if you attend :)

  • Carrie

    I also chose not to go to prom and still don’t regret it to this day. I was dating a college guy at the time and split up around prom time so a friend and I were planning a fun night out when a guy in my class asked me to go. I thanked him but told him I was already planning to hang out with my friend. Turns out I got back with my boyfriend and he wanted to take me and he had a friend who would take my friend, but when I found out the other guy who had asked me was still planning to go, but by himself, I couldn’t be ‘that b*tch’ so I stuck to the girls night out and had a blast!

    My parents – somewhat relieved at not having to fork out the money that prom can entail – still gave me some spending money and I got a cute outfit and had a great night with my friend at a local club. Halfway through the night a bunch of people who had gone showed up because the prom was boring.

    Everyone marks it as the last big party, but after joining a sorority in college the following year, I found out there would still be plenty of opportunities to dress up for formals after all, and those were way more fun than any high school dance I ever attended. :)

    • Kimberlee

      I’m glad you had a fun night! Yes, prom is SO expensive. hehe there are tons of parties in college to go to. Thanks for reading :)

  • Kim

    Couldn’t agree more. Where I come from, having dates to our version of senior prom is kind of unusual, so most of us went in groups. It was compulsory to attend and we had to sit in classes, so the evening would have been a total flop if it weren’t for being allowed to dance with my friends after all the ceremonies.

    • Kimberlee

      Oh I like where you come from haha Thanks for reading :)

  • Nichoel

    I was in the “new wave’ crowd when my prom happened in the late 80s, and it was extremely uncool for us to go bounce around to a bunch of top 40 hits with a bunch of fluffy haired chicks and mullet wearing chodes. Interestingly enough, I was also in the art club and we were responsible for the large art pieces at the prom. Because of that, we were able to go to the prom for free if we wanted. I truly had no desire, and I’m rather glad that I don’t have some horrid prom photo floating around that I’d be mortified by if some ‘friend’ posted on a social networking site!

  • Mae

    This was a wonderful article! I share the same sentiments, though I’m currently a senior and am planning on attending prom. I don’t like getting dressed up, I don’t like dancing, I’ve never been to a school dance, and I’m okay with that. I’m going to prom to hang out with my friends; not to waste the night away drinking and acting like an idiot. I don’t understand the tizzy some girls, and guys, get into when prom comes up, it’s a dance, nothing more. I spent $50 on my dress, and it’s one that can be worn again, unlike the hundreds of dollars others are spending. I’m sure it’ll be an interesting night, we’re taking a minivan and getting Slurpees, probably what I’m most excited for :] ha ha

  • Jamie

    Really, the only reason I would have went to my prom is to see my classmates all dressed up and have one final dance with them before we all went our separate ways. It’s like a symbolic thing. High School is such a dynamic point in your life and prom is that kind of tradition.

    However, I didn’t go. By the time my senior year came to a close, I couldn’t stand my classmates (besides my close friends) and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I didn’t think I would regret not going, after all, I’d skipped plenty of dances before. The following Monday, my friends said that it was lame and they wished they’d saved their money. I still don’t regret a thing. I feel sorry for girls working themselves into a tizzy for one night, that in reality, is not much more exciting than a typical Saturday night in college.

    Here in Southern California, we have something called “Grad Night”, which is basically a post-graduation all-nighter at Disneyland. I actually regret missing out on that one.

  • Rhia

    I’ve been out of school for a year now; and never went to prom. The other girls were making such a fuss about everything and frankly it was annoying. Me and my bestie used our “prom money” *we were originally going to go together as she left the school and there were other complications* on going to Rome for a week instead. I most definitely wouldn’t ever go back and change my mind (even though I adore pretty, shiny dresses!)