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    Prom-Free? Don’t Worry—There’s Still Fun to Be Had!

    Let’s talk prom (or a lack thereof).

    First, I’ll begin with the caveat that traditional events like prom are what you make them, and should you go, you’ll likely walk away with a memorable evening. But “memorable” doesn’t necessarily translate into “life-changing,” and neither will missing it.

    How do I know? Because I went to prom, and let me tell you—it was exhausting. 

    From the school-wide scramble for dates to the dent I made in my already unimpressive piggy bank, the whole experience proved to be a bit of an ordeal. And don’t even get me started on the questionable music or awkward “Do I have to dance with them?” moments of indecision. Believe me when I say that it never looks like this:

    Although maybe this:

    Which leads me to my point: If you aren’t planning on attending prom this year—either because you’re homeschooled, it’s just not your thing or any other reason under the prom sun—don’t sweat it. There are plenty of other ways to have some true, hassle-free fun on the night of prom. And to prove it, we’ve gathered six great ideas.

    1. Be a weekender. You’ve already heard that prom adds up, but ladies—prom reaaalllllyyy adds up. Even if you’re the thriftiest of dress shoppers, there are a lot of add-ons that are easily overlooked, starting (potentially) with the ticket.

    Now, think of all that money you’re going to save by sidestepping those expenses, and then (here’s the fun part) think of where you want to go with it.

    A day in the city? Why not? A fun mother-daughter road trip? We support that.

    2. Cause a stir. You know, you can still treat yourself to the very best, non-stress-inducing parts of prom. Start by grabbing a group of friends, then go on a vintage dress shopping adventure.

    Have a blast getting all dolled up and snapping dozens of ultra-cute photos together, then hit the town in full glamour-glory. Think: a sushi dinner, go-karts or bowling and late-night ice cream. If good ol’ dad is being a sport, he may even agree to be your chauffeur for the night while you activity-hop.

    Remember—the more funny looks, the better!

    3. Host a movie marathon. Think about it: While other prom-going girls are busy adjusting their too-tight dresses and positively starving because they juiced for a week to fit into them, you and friends or family can be reaching a whole new level of comfort in sweats, surrounded by popcorn and Milk Duds.

    The occasion? All of your favorite movies, at one time, in one place.

    4. Treat yourself to a sneak peek of college. If you’re planning on going away to school, there’s no better way to cure your prom woes than to get even more amped about all the new experiences you have to look forward to.

    So, chat with your parents about planning a possible campus visit (or visits) to turn a barren weekend into a rather busy one. If you can swing it, drop in on some of the groups that interest you and get a jump-start on making new friends for the following school year. Who knows? You may be so successful that you pave the way for a move-in day that looks a lot like this:

    5. Organize a pseudo prom. If you’re willing to put a little elbow grease into planning a formal dance all your own, then we say go for it! Pitch the idea to your youth group, and then to youth groups nearby. Chances are you’re not alone in your prom-free boat, and we can’t think of a better way to expand your social circle.

    Your church may even be willing to donate a space to host the event. With a little help, you’d be surprised by all that you can do with a few finger foods, a touch of flair and, of course, a set of speakers.

    6. Do something that brings you joy. All that time, money and energy you saved by skipping the whole prom fiasco makes for a fabulous excuse to give back.

    I have a friend who skipped her own prom in order to arrange a dance for a local retirement home. By the sound of it, the experience was just as rewarding as it was adorable, and to this day I’m still pretty jealous that I missed it.

    So you see—going prom-free isn’t as bad as you think. In fact, it can be pretty fantastic, don’t you think?

    Oh, and if that’s you, then be sure to tell us what you’ve got planned in the comments section below!

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