Is Homecoming Really Worth It?
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I’ve been in a state of turmoil since the word ‘homecoming’ first circulated the hallways. Every hallway and commons area, the word ‘homecoming’ lingers in the air, left behind from a rushed conversation about last minute plans, or something somewhat like an afterthought about the celebrating and whatnot. Naturally, my introverted self deemed it best to expel the idea of a social gathering with music from this decade and people I didn’t really know. Yes, I was the girl who called you out on the number of times you said ‘hoco’ or ‘dress’, ‘heels’ or ‘date’, and basically any problem that derived from homecoming. People around me adamantly insisted for me to drop the pseudo maturity and indulge in the spontaneity of last minute hoco prep. One thing that I can say with absolute certainty is that all the planning in the world will not eliminate spontaneity from your day. However, what I’m unsure about is whether or not you proceed to think of it as a good or a bad thing. Your outfit, group, dinner plans, photography sessions – basically everything that you’ve neatly laid out on your agenda will never be executed as such.
Although my decision to actually attend was later than conventional, my brain still managed somehow managed to drift away in class and visualize my finished look. Then proceeded the Pinterest/Tumblr stage, and in my opinion, this was the worst because it’s the most quixotic of them all. Luckily, a few experienced friends snapped me out of this telling me that these looks required skills I never learnt and patience I didn’t have; I followed the advice and dropped the fancy updos and ombre lip shades.
My day kicked off with a great cup of Chai and kisses from my neighbor’s dog – so far so good. Since my plans were so last minute, I hadn’t had the time to purchase a dress. Instead, I borrowed my sister’s, which cost around thirteen bucks: nothing fancy. At my friend’s house with her friends, preparation for the dance went underway and we listened to throwback Miley Cyrus music and made Mimosas – non-alcoholic, of course – with sprite and sliced oranges fitted onto the rims of fancy, yet plastic, tall champagne glasses. Everyone looked their more elegant, poised form with perfect curls and outfits that matched. We took an absurd number of pictures outside to get the perfect Instagram picture, worthy of the ‘hoco 2016’ caption, for every individual in the group. After the shoot we had dinner. Her dad made steaks and her mom had the new china set laid out on the dinner table with cutlery I had no idea how to use, but had fun experimenting with regardless. What I liked most about this part was that everyone got to live their inner royal fantasies, without it being compromising to their personality. For example, the carbonated grape juice we had poured in the wine glasses, started the greatest burp contest I have ever witnessed. This was my favorite part of the night.
I won’t lie and say that the actual process of getting to homecoming is not a pleasant experience; wearing a nice dress is great but within the short span of getting out of the house and to the car had me feel like I was dying of a frost bite. I don’t know how but I survived and made it to school. (Quick disclaimer, but I am originally from the equator hence – I’m perpetually cold). Regretting my decision to go, I tried integrating with the crowd that was dancing right up by the stage. It started with awkward, frequent, and unintentional eye contact with classmates I never talked to, transitioning into abrupt bouncing of the knees, to some arm movement, to just being tired and wanting to binge watch Stranger Things for the third time, to becoming revitalized when a familiar song played. I couldn’t decide if I wanted the sweet relief of taking my heels off or touching the ice-cold ground. I chose the former. I was beginning to regret the whole night until when the song ‘Low’ by ‘T-Pain’ played. My friend and I locked eyes while containing excitement because we both knew that our bedroom routine was about to lose its exclusivity. For such moments, the cold stopped mattering and so did the cute boy who may or may not have been judging my dancing or asynchronous singing. These moments tended to be quite frequent at homecoming for me.
In conclusion, I don’t think homecoming is for everyone. I see myself in a lot of places being way more comfortable than homecoming and chances are so do you. But a month ago, I didn’t see myself even going but I did, and I had fun, and I may even go again. The holistic experience is much more complex than the clichéd photoshoots and social media tags by which you judge the dance. You really need to go once to decipher for yourself whether Homecoming is really worth it for you.