There are definite reasons why teens don’t want to go to prom. Social anxiety. Finances. Not loving high school the way others do.
Let’s look at some of the reasons teens decide they don’t want to go to prom, and why it’s ok.
Can’t wait to leave high school
I know when my daughter left high school she couldn’t wait to go to college and couldn’t wait to get away from her high school friends. She is not in contact with any of them now. She did go to prom though. She’s a party girl.
The thoughts of spending an evening dancing the night away with a group of people you don’t really have any time for seems crazy. Why would you go? Why spend all that money?
Financing a Prom
For girls there’s the hair, makeup, the shoes, the accessories. For everyone, there’s the transport, the photographer, the corsage, the chocolates for the parents, the cost of the tickets, the cash for the night... it’s just endless.
And for some, the cost is just too much. Many feel that they don’t want to spend their hard earned cash (from a part time job) on a couple of hours with people they won’t see again.
However, this then throws a spanner in the works. You don’t have that ‘Oh! I’ve no date!’ to fall back on.
Many teens are just not 100% comfortable with themselves. They don’t like their smile, their hair, or their ears??
And the thoughts of dressing up and going to prom is the worst thing they could imagine. There’s such pressure to look a certain way. Girl or guy, to have a size 0 figure, or to be totally buff. But the reality is there are only a handful of people in your grade that look like this.
Sometimes the thoughts of standing in a group photo with these people standing beside you is too much to bear. Or you could be the prom king or queen. This has so much pressure attached to it, it leads to the same thoughts of opting out. (for some. Obviously, some think it’s amazing!)
It’s important that you are happy in your own skin, but for many this doesn’t happen until college or beyond. Many of your peers will also be feeling and thinking the same way. Think hard about not going if this is the reason.
Prom is all people are talking about
If you have adamantly decided you’re not going it’s hard then to listen to the excitement growing as the months roll on.
But for most it is a very exciting time and you really just have to go with the flow or step away from all conversation. Being on your own is not something I would recommend but there are probably other people in your grade that have made the same decision, you can always hang with them, if you are totally done with spray tans and limos.
Reasons to Consider Going
I know! You don’t want to go. And if that’s the bottom line, then everyone must respect that decision. No one can force you to go.
But if you’re on the fence about going, consider the following few points
- You might actually enjoy it. No. Prom is not for everyone but it is a certain type of closure to high school
- It’s a chance to throw on the glad rags. Even if finance is an issue. There are certainly ways to go to prom on a budget. A suit not a tux, a less expensive dress, home makeup and hair. Buddying up with a girlfriend to do each others...
- A night out with the girls / guys. Many of you will be heading to college in the fall. Prom may be one of the last times you will see the majority of your grade. It might be nice to have the memories
- Have no regrets. Going to prom is all everyone will be talking about, and after, the dissection of what everyone wore, who kissed who... But within a few weeks that will all be forgotten and people will start talking about college. But as years go by, you don’t want to have that niggling regret of not having gone to prom
As I say, if you choose not to go that is your choice and no one should dissuade you or make you go. But before you finally make up your mind consider all your options.
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Tara Cunningham is a Mum and Graphic Designer. My children's education has always been very important to me. I feel that if you are willing to put in the time they will appreciate the effort.
I hope that you find our thoughts and ideas useful and interesting.