My school's homecoming dance was this past weekend. It has been my fourth that I've attended. I've now grown accustomed to the routine-- getting ready at one of friend's houses, panicking when you realize you only have fifteen minutes left, pictures, dinner out, and the actual dance. With this event usually comes the expected stress-inducers everyone knows: what if I don't get a date, what if I don't look good enough, what if I can't dance, what if I have something stuck in my teeth all night and no one tells me? With all the dances I've got under my belt, I've learned a few of the aspects that can cause the most anxiety.

The weeks before the dance are usually filled speculations of who's asking who and later excitement over who actually asked who. If you (like me) don't happen to have a relationship at the time of homecoming, then you're usually anxiously waiting to see if you'll get asked and by which person. Or, if you're a boy, the heart-wracking nerves of actually asking your hopeful date and getting a positive response, which I actually feel sounds much more stressful. Just please, ask them in person.

Leading up to the dance, there should be some planning involved. Which, of course, causes-- you guessed it-- more stress! You need to decide what group of friends you're going with (because there will be drama at this time of the year, let me assure you, and you will have to choose). You need to make plans for a picture location, dinner spot, and times for both of these in the dreaded and mind-numbing group chats. You'll need to color coordinate a dress, shoes, and maybe a corsage and boutonniere, while keeping the price reasonable. And who's driving, who's getting picked up, and who's getting dropped off all must be decided by a group of stubborn teenagers. So, you know, piece of cake.

On the day of, it's inevitable that you're going to be running late. Just accept it now, put it into your calendar for next year's dance, don't try to argue it; you WILL run late. But, there will always be someone else who's running more late. After trying to arrange yourselves flatteringly for pictures while everyone argues over which spot they get to show off their good side and struggling to not get food in your teeth over dinner, you can arrive at the actual dance. The fun part right? Not exactly. Once there, you get to worry about what everyone else thinks about your outfit and your dance moves. Now am I saying that homecoming is just waste of time and you should skip it altogether? Not at all. But just be aware that you may experience a fair amount of stress over the ordeal.