Homecoming doesn’t have to be perfect

Homecoming can be great, but it’s not worth tearing your hair out over.


by Anna Louise Sih, Staff Photographer

When I first started at STA as a freshman, I remember being told tales from upperclassmen about homecoming and Teresian, and the fun of planning them. Sophomore year hit, and I was finally able to join in on the joys of homecoming. Preparing for the dance almost felt like a rite of passage for me – now that I was able to go to homecoming and Teresian, instead of watching the upperclassmen have fun without me, I shed my perceptions of myself as a confused, bug-eyed freshman, aimlessly wandering around without any direction. 

Among friend groups, mine included, a topic that frequently comes up more than I’m proud of is homecoming, and working out all of the details for it. “Who’s going with who?” “Who’s hosting the dinner?” “What about the after party?” “Should I buy this dress or that dress?” These questions would not be bad had they been within the same month as the dance, or maybe even two months out. The spring or summer before, however, shouldn’t be the time to plan the small details for something that’s months away. As students, especially here at STA where girls often end up at more than one dance within the span of a few weeks, we put too much pressure on ourselves to live up to unattainable standards. Psyching yourself out for months in preparation for an event that will only last a few hours and likely not change you as a person is a recipe for disaster.

Homecoming is not meant to be something to scowl at. It can be wonderful and everything and more than you could ever imagine, but it can also be sheer pandemonium and make you want to tear your hair out strand-by-strand. The unfortunate truth of the situation is that your night most likely won’t be perfect. Maybe your date’s tie ends up being an entirely different shade of blue than your dress, or you’re having difficulties making a dinner reservation big enough for your group, or you can’t find that one necklace that you had been saving for weeks to wear to the dance. No matter how terrible these may seem at the moment because your night has officially been ruined before it could even begin, it’s not worth it to stress over what you cannot change.

In the future, no matter how many days or weeks or years down the road, when you think about your homecoming experiences, no one wants to remember how awful it was because all you cared about was living up to unrealistic standards instead of living in the moment with all of your best friends. Dances are meant to be a night spent dancing until your feet are covered in blisters and you’re exhausted but simultaneously you never want the night to end. There are only so many high school dances you’ll be able to attend before you graduate – and in reality, it’s only a few hours of your life. Before you freak out about anything that could go wrong, just take a step backwards and breathe. If something goes wrong, laugh it off. Chances are, no one else besides you will notice that part of your nail polish has chipped off.