Students Stress About Prom Dates


Senior Drew Clark “promposes” to his date, a tradition that’s been popularized in recent years. (photo courtesy of Drew Clark)

One of the biggest things for high school seniors to stress about come April is the arrival of prom. While prom season is a time of dress shopping, party planning, and fun with your friends, it’s also the season of inevitably getting asked “Who’s your date?” from every person who gets the chance. This adds an extra level of stress to the event, especially for an aspect so trivial, and raises the question, why is it so important to have a prom date?

Prom is a tradition that originated in the mid-nineteenth century, when Ivy League colleges would have an annual dance at the end of the year in an effort to promote social etiquette and manners among their graduating students. As the tradition grew in popularity and spread across the country, it became a staple in practically every American high school. However, despite how progressive today’s generation has become, aspects of prom have remained outdated.

This outdatedness is something that has haunted proms of the past, with an Alabama principal being sued in 1994 for attempting to ban interracial couples from attending, or with students today still struggling because same-sex couples are banned at their school’s dance. For some reason, while our society has become more accepting of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and identities, prom hasn’t. The fact that there’s still a stigma around going to prom without a date proves this.

While it’s unlikely that your grandparents will stop asking who your date is anytime soon, don’t let that put pressure on you to find a date if you don’t want to. By going to prom stag, you’re helping tear down the outdated traditions of prom, and celebrating new ways of thinking.