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Friday, 23 June 2017

Why I Didn't Go To Prom

This week and next week, year 11's all around the country will be taking their final GCSE exam. I remember what that was like for 15 year old me. The relief of knowing that exams are over, hoping that I got the grades I needed to get into college, the anticipation of the celebration that is prom.

Except I didn't go to my high school prom. And I don't regret it. 

It's worth noting that when I left school in 2005, British proms were still in their infancy. At my school, we were only the third set of leaver's to get a prom once our exams were finished (I only know that because my older brother had his prom two year earlier and his year were the first to do it... I think, I'm pretty convinced), and at that time it still felt like a very American, very novelty thing to do as opposed to the social expectation that it is today. 

The main reason that I didn't go to my high school prom was that I didn't get on with a majority of people. There was a handful of people that I got on with, but I never felt particularly close to anyone, and I didn't really have a best friend. I know that I was certainly never considered anybody else's best friend. 

I was considered "weird" and "different" and was teased a lot, and I didn't handle that very well, which made the teasing worse as I was giving people the reaction they wanted. I was bullied over my looks (my teeth especially) and why on Earth would I want to spend a night with these people who made my life so miserable? I didn't like them, and they didn't like me. 

Not only would I have to spend the night with them, but I would have to pay for the privilege. It's only a vague memory now but I think that a ticket to prom was around £30. On top of that, I would have had to have chip in for the price of the limo that my high school social circle had hired to get them to prom, and I would have had to splash out on a formal outfit of some kind.

And what would I have worn?! My friend Kim, in her attempts to get me to change my mind after I'd told her I wasn't going, managed to find an alternative fashion magazine of some kind and was trying to win me round by pointing out these gothic dresses that Amy Lee, one of my heroes at the time, would likely be seen wearing to a red carpet event. Unfortunately for Kim, Avril Lavigne was another one of my heroes and in an attempt to be more like Avril I was forcing the idea that I was a MASSIVE tomboy and that I would not be caught dead in a skirt or a dress (realistically, my Mum had put me in skirts loads as a child and I had not argued with her once). In my mind, my only real formal option was a suit, which would get me teased even more and so "I'm. Not. Going."

Something similar to what Kim pointed out. Source: Pinterest

Everybody told me that I would regret not going to prom, but twelve years later I still don't. Looking back, I know that I would have just sat there for the entire thing, being as angsty and passive aggressive as you like, hating the music, not enjoying myself. And for what? Just to say that I went? No thank you. 

Maybe if I had a larger, closer group of friends at school with me then I would have gone. I actually think I spent the night of my prom with friends from a different school, just hanging out as teenagers do. Spending time with people who actually cared about me vs. spending a fortune to be around people who actively disliked me... I think I made the right call.

Stacey Rose xx

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