Freaking out out about finding a prom date? Worried about how much your limo is going to cost?
Between all of the movies and TV shows about the big night, it's easy for silly stereotypes and super high expectations to suck the fun out of what's supposed to be an awesome celebration of your senior year of high school.
But you don't have to fall into that trap. Here are 10 of the biggest prom misconceptions -- and all the reasons why you should not, under any circumstances, lose sleep over them this year.
1. You Need To Have A Date
This simply isn't true, no matter how much pressure you feel from your parents or your classmates about it. Admit it: having a date doesn't always make the night more fun -- and having fun should be exactly what prom is about. So stop stressing if you'd rather spend the night hanging out with a bunch of your best friends than worrying about an awkward date situation. You'll still be making awesome memories.
2. Professional Photos Are The Only Way To Go
The best kind of photographs aren't ones that are staged with cheesy photographers and cost an arm and a leg -- they're the ones you take of yourselves, laughing with friends and sharing in impromptu memories. Thanks to apps like Instagram, you can even take pictures on your cell phone and make them look professional and beautiful with a few simple clicks.
3. Limos Are The Only Means Of Transportation
There are a number of other ways to get to and from the prom without spending your entire allowance (and then some). Think outside of the box and don't rule out other transportation ideas like old-fashioned cars, school buses, and even hitching a ride with friends or your parents.
4. Promposals Are Required Of All Good Dates
Promposals can be an adorable way to show someone you care about that you really, really want to take them to prom, but they're not the only way to show your date how psyched you are to go with them. And if your potential date requires you to plan something so insanely over-the-top when you also have college applications and finals to worry about... well, they're probably not worthy of being your date in the first place. Sorry.
5. Everything Needs To Be Traditional
Prom does not need to be one big, traditional experience based on annoying stereotypes and expectations from your parents. For example, instead of going with matching outfits and corsages, you and your date can explore other DIY options, and instead of going to a fancy dinner, you can head to a local diner with your whole gang.
6. Fancy Prom Attire Is A Must
Dressing up to the nines and rocking tiaras, gowns and expensive tuxes isn't necessary when planning your prom attire. The more comfortable you feel in the outfit you pick, the more fun you will have. Trust us.
7. You Need To Spend A Lot Of Money
In order to have a good prom experience, it's not necessary to spend a ton of money on, well, anything. Sometimes working with what you have -- and being creative about it -- can end up making the night more memorable. (See: sneaker photo above.)
8. You Need To Fulfill Your Date's Romantic Expectations
Whether it's pressure from your date or it's pressure you're putting on yourself, you may feel like there are romantic (or sexual) expectations at the after-prom party that you have to fulfill. This is where prom-related movies and TV shows have it 100% wrong: whether you go to the prom with someone you have feelings for, or someone you don't, it isn't a reason to do anything you don't feel comfortable or ready to do. Prom night is NOT the end-all-and-be-all of relationships. You have plenty of time to figure things out and prom will be way less stressful if you take all of that other stuff off the table completely. If your date is cool, they'll understand.
9. Your Entire Grade Will Come Together And Be Besties
Usually at the end of a teen movie like "Mean Girls," there will be a prom scene that shows everyone in the entire school coming together and getting along for just one night. While all know it in the back of our minds, it's worth reminding ourselves: that's just not reality. And you know what? It's cool. Sometimes prom isn't about having some big revelation about high school and life -- it's just about dancing ridiculously with your friends. Whatever.
10. You NEED To Go
One of the biggest misconceptions of all is that you absolutely must go or you will be missing out on some life-changing event. Here's the truth: If you don't want to go, you shouldn't feel like you have to. In fact, skipping prom isn't going to mean anything in the grand scheme of your life. It's really not a "rite of passage" and if you know your life will feel less stressful staying home on prom night -- do it. You know what makes you happy (and doesn't) better than anyone else, so don't listen to anyone who tries to tell you that you need to participate.
What do you think is the biggest prom myth? Are you planning on going this year? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet @HuffPostTeen.
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