Springtime brings about one of the most famous, or to some people, infamous, seasons in the high school world. Prom Season. To students in relationships, or those with romantic interests, Prom Season is a wonderful time full of excitement and romantic surprises. In the past, this time of year held fear and horror for students without any sort of romance; wondering if he/she will ever find a date. However, in recent years, this has become less of an issue. While it remains a fear for some, it has become socially acceptable, and in some ways “trendy”, to go solo or with friends.
Due to strong individuals in popular culture, such as singer Cardi B, many Gen Z girls and boys no longer feel the need to have a significant other in their lives. According to a survey by SkoolLive, 53% of high school respondents reported they were “going stag” to prom this year. Similarly, SkoolLive hosted a “Promposal Contest”, where students submitted videos of themselves asking someone to prom in creative ways for a chance to win $500, and be featured on SkoolLive kiosks across the country. A handful of the submissions SkoolLive received depicted students asking their friends to prom, something not previously seen in such a public manner. One applicant even included a brief essay on why she chose to ask her friend with her submission.
There are many negative aspects to social and mass media, but one positive has become present in the new prom trends. The emphasis on self-love and being a strong, independent person. It is easy for teenagers, and even adults, to get caught up in the idea that romance is the most important thing in the world. Gen Z teens are breaking the mold, and challenging this now more than ever. People say “love makes the world go ‘round”, but often forget love comes in many forms. Romantic love is not the only love out there, or the only love that matters. Familial love, the love that comes from friendships, and self-love are just as important.