My name is Quinn. In June, I hit the milestone of my high school graduation, followed by my nineteenth birthday three weeks later. I've done a few sports every year of high school, and a few extracurricular activities. I’ve had crushes, some of them mutual, but I’ve never dated. And in two weeks, I will attend my senior prom- alone.... *gasp!*
In all seriousness, I suppose when I began high school, I didn't imagine myself remaining single the entire time. I have spent most of my life heavily admiring my sister, who is five years older than me and had a date to every dance she attended during her years.
I envisioned myself growing up with a boyfriend by my side- the dances, movie dates, etc. Instead, my introverted self chose instead to only go out a few times a month and try to focus on life rather than boys. I only succeeded about 75% of the time, but hey, the grade ahead of me had some really cute guys.
So here I am. I'm going to my senior year prom single and with a few friends by my side. I didn't need anyone to give me a fancy 'promposal'. In fact, a lot of them weird me out and I consider it almost a saving grace that I never endured the awkwardness of a public announcement that ends with flowers and a candid Instagram Picture. Nor will I spend my evening introducing a random guy to my family and placing his hands around my waist (or worse, the pre-prom meet-the-parents-dinner). I'm not bitter about this event; I just don't see the reasoning for stress and fuss.
Your parents' best kept secret? Not Santa, but better: prom won't be the best night of your life, but also not the worst. You'll have so many more adventures and fun things to do that you'll probably forget about prom within a few years.
Alongside this, it's not designed to be torturous. Remember that everybody is only looking for dancing and a good time. If the negative Nellie at your table is putting you down, go find a more fun group. If you feel lonely, connect with another person in the same situation, or grab a few friends. Never be scared to join a group. Not at prom, not at school.
I'll admit it: I wouldn't mind if I attended prom with a date and my night ended like a 1980's movie (including the part where I ride off into the sunset with a young Patrick Dempsey. I'm far more of a Drew Barrymore Never Been Kissed type, but a girl can dream, can't she?)
The funny thing? I don't need a young Patrick Dempsey, or my school's best alternative, to have a blast that night. No, I won't have a fancy corsage to wear on my wrist, or a photo booth picture of me kissing some guy on the cheek.
Despite that, I know I'll look beautiful in my dress (it's 2017, compliment yourself occasionally) and even better, I'll have an entire squad of girlfriends with me to dance the night away. And best of all, you can save a few hundred dollars since you won't be paying for a date's outfit, gas, or ticket.
If you are attending with a date, good for you! I hope you feel great on your special night, and your date treats you like the royalty you are.
If you are attending alone and return home with somebody, please be safe, live it up, and only make the memories you'll feel happy about the next day or following year.
Last but not least. If you are attending alone and return home alone, be safe too, treat yourself to your favorite food, and do a little of whatever makes you happy. Strong is the new pretty, single is the new free, and quirky- well, that's the new awesome.