Homecoming for those of you who do not know, is a tradition mainly found in American schools to welcome back students in the fall. While every school has different customs, many have a sporting event (football), spirit week, pep rally and dance. Homecoming should not be confused with Prom which is a dance that occurs in the spring often held only for upperclassmen or seniors, while Homecoming is in the fall and held for all students.
It is the week before the big game and dance. Most schools will participate in a "spirit week" in which everyday has a different theme for students to dress up. This helps "pump up" students for the big weekend often ending the week with a pep rally before the game that features games, cheers and different events to get students excited for the game. Some common themes that schools pick are USA day, Disney day, extreme weather day, twin day, hat day and pajama day. As a current senior, I know for a fact that it is fun and okay to let loose for the week and dress up. I extremely regret my freshman year spirit week in which I believed for whatever reason it was not "cool" to dress up. Trust me, whether you are a freshmen or a senior, it is cool to dress up during spirit week. Plus who would skip pajama day? You can literally wake up, get out of bed and go straight to school.
Football game before
Photo courtesy to Strongsville High School
Friday night football games. The themes. The chants. The rivalry between schools. All of this is elevated to the next level the night of the homecoming football game. Even if you are one who does not like or go to the football games, the homecoming game is one you will not want to miss. Get dressed up to the theme, join the packed student section in chants and hopefully see your home team win!
The perfect outfit
The perfect dress, shoes, hair and makeup does not just appear overnight. If you are planning on attending the Homecoming dance, plan ahead. Find the perfect dress that makes you feel great, shoes you will be comfortable in and hair and makeup that you know you can do yourself unless you are getting it done at a salon or by a friend. As someone who has gone to three almost four homecomings (after this year), finding the perfect dress is hard and often times expensive if you get a new dress, new pair of shoes and get you hair or makeup done professionally. To avoid this, you and your friends can trade dresses or shoes from different years. No one will be able to tell or remember from years before and your wallet or your parent's wallet will be thanking you. You can even do your own hair and makeup or have a friend do it to escape the costly salon fees.
Before the dance
Before the dance, form a group of friends to all go together. Whether everyone has dates or not, you will still have a blast going in a big group. What I have always done is gone in a big group. We meet at someones house, we all bring food to eat and take pictures either at that house, a park or another persons house. If we are being 100% serious, taking pictures is mostly for your parents. While it is nice to have pictures for yourself, your parents are the ones who want 1,000 pictures of you that they will cherish forever. While you may get annoyed when your mom or dad are chasing you with a camera, just let it happen, you will be thankful to have pictures of your homecoming in years to come.
Date vs. Dateless
Proposals, color coordinating, corsages, boutonnières, posed pictures and the sometimes awkward slow dances are just a few of the aspects of having a date to homecoming. While having a date can be a fun time, especially if you like each other, are friends or are dating, having a date is not everything. It is 100% okay to go to the dance without a date. You are not the only one. Go in a big group of friends and dance the night away. If you do have a date, then great enjoy the night with them. No matter if you have a date or not, you will surely have an amazing night as long as you allow yourself to have one. Don't pout because you do not have a date, just live in the moment and have fun the night of the dance.
Congratulations! You have survived getting your outfit perfect, a group together (possibly even a date), dinner and pictures and now you made it to the dance. Enjoy the night, dance, take pictures, have fun with friends, make memories and most importantly avoid high school drama that will always try to sneak into the dance.
Let the party continue
The dance may have ended, but the party does not have to stop. Whether you go to someone's house and eat food, go to a restaurant or hangout with your date the night does not need to end. Have fun, be safe and do not get yourself into any trouble after the dance.
Most importantly, do not stress, stay organized and stay calm because it is not the end of the world, it is just a high school dance. Have fun and be safe during your homecoming!
(All photos courtesy of Giphy)