Editorial: Semi should be enjoyable, not difficult
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Every year, March rolls around and it all starts again. Junior Semi-formal and Senior Prom proposals, the ubiquitous Facebook group, forms mailed home, stern discussions with parents about alcohol. School dances are supposed to be fun, frivolous events to mark the years spent in high school, but the Junior Semi and Senior Prom often do the opposite, creating anxiety and division instead of uniting the school.
Students should not feel pressured to conform to a “norm” when it comes to school dances; they should do whatever they want, and the events will be what they each make of them.
The most obvious source of anxiety is dates. Last year, the current senior class had a pandemic of date-related nerves. People scrambled, asking people they did not even know. Even this year, many people felt as if they could not go without dates.
This is blatantly false. Many students go with groups of friends, taking wonderful group pictures and dancing together. Many people do not formally go with anyone and just meet others when they get there, having a blast hanging out with whomever they want.
Do not let the heteronormative mass-market romance define you. Go with a friend or potential partner of the same gender and do not listen to anyone who says you cannot. Romantic love is not better than platonic love. Go alone if that is what you prefer. It is still a fun social experience no matter what you do.
A more difficult to tackle issue is that the Junior Semi and Senior Prom can be prohibitively expensive. This year, the Junior Semi cost a whopping $98, which made some people feel like it was not worth the money. With that in mind, it is okay to not go; if your family is not comfortable with spending that much money, go see a movie or just hang out at someone’s house. Dances are fun, but they are not the be-all-end-all of high school, and you are not missing out on some unforgettable experience by not going.
There is a wide range of feelings among students about dances. Some people do not care at all and wear old outfits and take few pictures while others buy costly new outfits and pose for endless formal photos. Think about how you approach dances and be sure that what you are doing is what you really want to be doing.
If you have not been to a dance yet, do not worry. Go if you want to. Go with whom you want to. Dress in a way that makes you feel special.
It is just a fun high school dance, nothing more. If you have a good time, you will have fond memories. If you do not have a good time, you will be able to laugh about it later. If you do not go, you will not even remember it.
The choice that you make is the right choice.