Regret going to prom alone
How to come across after missing your prom
So you missed your prom ... maybe you trained at home and didn't have one. Maybe you had really overprotective parents who wouldn't let you go. Maybe you were grounded. Maybe you had a personal or family emergency and couldn't make it, or you weren't on a date at the time ... Or maybe your school didn't have a prom. Anyway, you still feel sorry for missing your prom or you probably wouldn't be here at all.
While prom is a night to remember for those who have to leave, you regretted whatever reason you couldn't leave. You're not alone. Many people didn't graduate either, and some still regret it. Uma Thurman said in a recent interview that she is still disappointed that she missed hers. Drew Barrymore recently created a prom for a friend who missed her high school prom.
- 1 Realize and accept that you probably haven't missed as much as you might think you did. Sure, it's fun, it's quasi-chic, but the reality for a lot of people is just a formal dance with a few cheesy decorations and parting gifts. Lots of people who went to prom said it was one of the best nights of their lives. But there are just as many others who say it's a waste of time and money and would have preferred to do something more exciting. There is a saying that "most people who went to prom wish they hadn't and most people who didn't wish they had."
- 2 Keep in mind that many successful people in society weren't exactly prom queens (or kings) either. Taylor Swift, Mila Kunis, Madonna, Owen Wilson, James Franco, Mena Suvari, Uma Thurman, Conan O'Brien, Diane Sawyer, syndicated radio host Delilah, and Drew Barrymore never attended their official senior balls - though Swift was later with someone else In addition to her record label, she threw a prom party for her when she got her first platinum album; and Barrymore held a "prom party" at least twice.
- 3 Make a decision that it will not consume your life. It's not the end of the world. While it can be a fun and exhilarating experience, prom isn't usually an event that defines the rest of life. Often times, people who were popular in high school lead rather boring adult lives. Just as there are many celebrities who didn't go to prom, there are many graduation kings / queens who sell insurance or work at the local super center.
- 4 Think about the experiences you've had that those who went to prom might have missed. It's true, Madonna was never a prom queen. Then again, how many prom queens had platinum albums? You may have had an experience that few others have for themselves. Make a list and refer to it when you feel blue when you don't have prom pics or memories.
- 5 Give yourself an experience that most others don't have. This does NOT necessarily have to be something closely related to a prom. You might get tickets to see your favorite rock band live, or take a greyhound to Hollywood to see the Walk of Fame. If necessary, save some money and indulge in rare experiences like this one.
- 6 Attend a formal event that is open to the public. This could give you exactly the closure you need. Almost every major city has some type of formal events that are open to the public. It could be anything from a breast cancer or child abuse charity ball to a film festival opening gala, depending on what your city or region (or one you want and can travel to) has to offer. For example, most film festivals have an opening night gala that is either formal or semi-formal. These are usually published on the evening news or local media. You can dress up just as formally as you would for a prom - and you'll be helping a good cause. A prom is basically just a formal event, in all honesty.
- 7 If you are currently on a residential campus in a college, you should contact formals. They are usually sponsored either by ballroom dancing clubs and / or by brotherhoods or student associations, but many in brotherhoods / student associations also allow those outside the Greek system to participate. Call a friend and invite him / her to the event ... If there are no known forms on campus that are open to all students, check if there is a ballroom dance club, and if so, if so they are aware of competitions.
- 8 Don't be afraid to create your own "prom experience" if you feel the need to. A section has been added below with ideas. Don't worry about whether you are feeling silly or what others (friends, family, etc.) think of your decision. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself the closure you need no matter what someone tells you.
- 9 If someone else made you miss your prom, try to forgive them, if it's at all practical. This can be difficult or impossible depending on the situation. If your parents mistakenly started you up for something you didn't do five hours before prom and have since tried to make amends to make it up to you, then maybe it is time to let it go. If your brother sold your dress to a pawn shop to buy drugs on dance day, that may be a different story depending on whether he turned his life around and made things right with you.
- 10 Think this way - you've saved a lot of money! They didn't have to buy a costume, rent a tuxedo, or get overpriced photo packages. All of your friends are likely broke while you may have something left over.
Method one of three:
Recreate the prom you never had
- 1 Consider throwing a "prom party" for yourself. Drew Barrymore and Taylor Swift both did (Swift also went as a "prom" for a soccer player who won a competition). Sure, it could get a little immersed in yourself and will likely be expensive, but if it will graduate you and it is in your means to do so then move on right away. Most of the people who do this tend to either hold it at a community center or make arrangements to rent out the local high school in the summer. If you really have money to burn, you can rent a hotel ballroom (as many high schools do anyway), hire an event planning service to do all the work for you, and make it extremely realistic. You can even get crowned "Prom King" or "Prom Queen" if you're feeling really lenient (hey, it's okay if you pay for the party, isn't it?)
- 2 Find and attend an "Adult Prom." Before you sneak through the terminology, NO, an "adult prom" is not an X-rated version of a prom. It's a party exactly like a prom, but marketed for adults who either want to relive their prom or catch up on a missed graduation. They often go out of their way to be realistic and even crown a "king and queen". You can also do an internet search on adult prom to see what opportunities are in your area.
- 3 If you live in or near a movie production city, you should try getting a job as an extra in a movie with a prom scene. Before dismissing this as a completely absurd idea, consider the following. Movies with prom scenes are usually shot at least 20 times a year in cities with a movie industry. This works best if you can pass for prom adequately and / or if you would be willing to play a "faculty bonus" rather than a "student bonus". It's also only an option if you live in or near a city that produces movies on a regular basis (e.g. New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver). Keep in mind that auditions are unlikely to take place during prom season, and a movie released in the spring in time for "prom season" is usually shot 6 to 18 months before its release.
Method two of three:
"Prom Crashing" - Going to an actual prom
- 1 If your high school has an "alumni prom," attend it. Some high schools hold special "alumni balls" (not to be confused with gatherings) as fundraising drives - alumni and faculty are allowed to participate. These events are usually semi-formal to formal.
- 2 Attend your high school's upcoming prom, if allowed. Some high schools allow alumni to attend prom if they so choose. Others may require a little flattery (usually in the form of a donation). Late Wendy's founder Dave Thomas had dropped out of school to serve in the military but he later got his GED 35 years later and went to his high school prom that year with his wife. Many schools not only allow but encourage alumni to attend future balls. Don't expect to be crowned king or queen - you won't be eligible, and even if you were, would that be really fair for this year's vintage? - But at least you'll have a prom. This option works best when you have a good reason to miss your prom (military service, etc.) and / or when you are financially able to make a reasonable donation to the school. Some schools don't care as long as you buy a prom ticket.
- 3 Go to someone other than their date's prom. Taylor Swift did this (in addition to a "prom party" after her first record got number 1) and it was even the subject of an MTV reality show where dateless high school boys were given the chance to have them for theirs Graduation Date. Well, unless you're famous, you won't be able to have your own reality TV show to find someone to take you to prom ... but there are other ways to get to a prom for others to go. There are websites like Prom Date Depot (www.promdatedepot.com) that allow people to find or become a prom. Note - You may need to obtain specific permission from the school in advance and should always check with the school about their policies for prom guests. This may not be an option if you are older than 20-24.
- 4 Volunteer to be a Prom Chaperone. Granted, this isn't the same as going to your own prom, but high schools need chaperones at every prom, every year. Prom Chaperones are responsible adults who attend prom with students to ensure the safety of participating students as well as to prevent improper behavior. You won't be as popular and forget to be crowned king or queen, but you will be at a prom. Chaperones are usually parents of students and / or alumni, but most high schools are happy to take on additional chaperone volunteers that they can get. If you have a clean record, this might be a viable option for you.
Method three of three:
- 1 Rent or buy formal clothes for you and your "date," and go to dinner and a dance during "prom season". Don't worry about what other people think or if they are staring at you. You're not doing anything wrong or breaking the law. As a really cool alternative, travel to a spectacular location like Las Vegas or Times Square. You may find that you're not the only couple who have redesigned your prom ...
- 2 Have yourself and your sweetheart photographed as the "Prom King" and "Prom Queen". You can probably get a crown, tiara, and two sashes on eBay for one under $ 50 if you're really good, and easily for less than $ 100 even if you're not the best buyer. Find formal attire at the thrift store. Dress up in formal attire and have a photographer take a few photos of you and your "sweetheart" in a professional photo.
- 3 If you are a woman and you live in the USA or Canada, enter a pageant. Many organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, host parades with women of all ages competing for a crown. Did you know several Miss Americas never went to their prom?
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