Ah, prom season. As I sit here writing this, my brother is currently out with his friends for their obligatory pre-prom dinner. Of course, they're all dressed up, looking fabulous, and hopefully they’re having a good time. So while he’s out partying, I thought I would take the opportunity to write a random little listicle about what I think is important about prom, what’s not so important, and some reflection on my own experiences of going to prom.

Prom is a bit of a window into how young people learn to be adults. A right of passage that teaches young adults more than how to dirty dance and spend your parents money. For all the fun it entails for high school kids, Prom is a learning experience and the attendees are the unwitting students. Learning how to behave in a formal setting, using good manners, acting like ladies and gentlemen, are just a few of the lessons they learn without even knowing it. There are the lovely clothes, the nice dinner and understanding the cost your parents are willing to pay for you to have great experience.

1. Important: For Many, Prom Is A Milestone

As cheesy as this may sound to some people, prom truly is a milestone in many young people’s lives. It’s a point between childhood and adulthood, to celebrate in a unique way that is often a once in a lifetime opportunity for kids.

2. Not So Important: Not Going

If going to a formal dance with a date sounds like your ultimate nightmare, don't do it! You're about enter college which may very well be the most stressful time of your life, so don't feel forced into doing something you aren't comfortable with.

3. Important: Prom Is A Time For Self-Expression

Prom is a different environment than the halls of a high school, and since it is a formal event, attendees feel able to showcase their true style. When you're dressed to the nines, it no doubt boosts the confidence of the students who may have not felt bold enough to express themselves at school. But…

4. Not So Important: Getting Laid

Honestly, I felt like so many people I went to school/prom with were only focused on one thing: sex. For some, even the not so delightful idea of backseat drunk sex. High school is the last time in your life where you can just be a kid, so focus on having fun. That fun shouldn't include drunken regrets and possible teen pregnancies.

5. Important: It’s Okay To Not Have A Date!

Go with friends! Looking back, I truly wish I would have been much more focused on being with my friends instead of my date. Friends last, and more often than not, silly high school boyfriends don’t. Spend time with your friends, it may be one of the last times you get to see them before you split off for college.

6. Come Prepared

A little personal experience here, there was a situation one year where I had a tiny rip on the side of my dress, and although I was able to tuck it under, it could have been much worse. Do come prepared with a few emergency items, to fix any blunders you might have!

7. Embrace It!

Looking back, high school me was very worried about if I would be dressed similarly to my peers, if my hair looked like it should, and not wearing too much makeup (boys don't like that, you know)! Knowing what I know now, (as far as makeup, boys, and silly high school stress) I wish I would have more fully embraced the prom experience as just something fun, instead of something laced with anxiety and the pressure to look a certain way. Wear that winged liner and bold lip. Don't wear a full length dress if you don't want to. Wear heels or wear combat boots. But most importantly, wear a smile. If you're not having fun, what’s the point?