Homecoming…. Stag?

By Mara Shapiro

10th Period editor Mara Shapiro's advice on Homecoming.

One of my favorites times of the year is upon us: Homecoming. Normally teachers relax with the extraordinary amount of homework and tests that make up the school year, and give us a night to dance and hang out with friends.  One thing I have been noticing throughout my three years at Niles West is that whenever I would ask a guy friend of mine if they were going, they would reply with “I don’t have a date.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but does it say anywhere on the ticket or any advertising the school does that one needs a date? Is this a Valentine’s Day dance? (Even then I don’t think it’s mandatory to have a date; just show up and have a fun time with friends and it will be worth it).

What is the definition of Homecoming? According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, it is “the return of a group of people usually on a special occasion to a place formerly frequented or regarded as home.” For West students, it means having an annual dance to celebrate the return of the school year (oh, what a joyous reason to celebrate). Overall, it’s a party, and a generally fun one at that, what with the blasting music that reverberates throughout your entire  body and getting all fancy in our new dresses and ties.

Boys have egos, take it from Beyonce, but there is no reason to not go to Homecoming just because you don’t have a girl on your arm who will probably be hanging out with her friends more than you during the actual dance. I understand if you feel that the price is too high, you just aren’t a dance person, or if there are conflicts in your life at the moment. However, we only have four of these dances during our school careers, and if you are a lower classman who isn’t planning on attending Prom, it’s the only dance of the year.

I’m not saying that there are girls who don’t attend Homecoming because they are lacking dates, but I find it much more prevalent in the male gender, no matter the age or confidence level of the guy. The thing that most guys don’t realize is that a lot of girls do attend Homecoming stag, and they go with a big group of their girls for support. Therefore, even if you attend the dance originally without a date, by the end of the night you could have many dates instead! There is a very, very minute chance that a girl will say no to one dance at Homecoming, not to mention a lot of the songs are fast songs, so there really aren’t a lot of awkward moments if you don’t have a date.

My message is clear: go to Homecoming if your sole reason is because you don’t have a date. Take a break from the Xbox, I know it’s hard, and go have fun with your fellow Wolves! Homecoming is where all the grades can come together and feel at home at West. You will even get a cute, little prize at the end, in the form of a bag or water bottle. Who doesn’t love those? Take a chance and see what Homecoming is like! Many girls do attend with just girl friends, so you will probably find someone to dance with. Also, it’s not a big deal to ask one of your girl friends to go with you either. Whatever you decide to do, just go. Don’t let not having a date stop you from having a good time.