Saturday, May 31, 2014

Prom Analysis

~ “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt.

      Last month, I went to my high school’s prom.  If you have ever been to a noisy dance before, you know what I am talking about when I say party hub-bub can be very uncomfortable with hearing aids.  In addition to the noise, there is also a lot of nervous anxiety, fear of the unknown, and chaos that have led me to avoid these types of social situations.  Last spring I had heard girls talking about attending prom, shopping for dresses, making dinner plans, dancing, etc…  It all sounded like a lot of fun, so I decided I wanted to go.  But I almost didn’t go at the last minute.  Due to fear.
      If you read last month’s blog posting, you will see that at first, going to prom was nerve wracking, and at the end I was very tired and went home.  But, in the middle, I did all right.  Not only did I survive the social minefield, but in the end, I also had some fun.  To me, going to prom was a milestone in my social development.  And I wondered exactly what I had been afraid of.  So I decided to analyze the situation.
      Before the prom, I had great fun shopping for a dress and shoes and figuring out how to do my hair and makeup.  On the day of the prom, that’s when I started to get nervous.  As the departure time became more imminent, I became more and more stressed.  I wasn’t really worried about my looks, more the sheer anxiety that accompanies anything new.  I started looking for an excuse to get out of it; it took a lot of effort to work up the courage and walk into that party and just be there.  But as the evening wore on, I became more relaxed and started to enjoy myself.  It’s like a chemical reaction – you need activation energy to get over the energy barriers before having any reaction at all.
      I realized I spent a lot of energy worrying about what was going to happen, and once I got there, and nothing bad happened, then I could relax.  Here are some things that went well, and helped me to get over my initial fears.  I thought sharing these tips might help you overcome a new social situation as well.
      Things that went well at prom include the food, of course.  Try the food.  If you’re really nervous, the cookies and brownies can be your comfort and energizing food.
      Another thing that went really well was the dancing.  I tried some experiments on the dance floor, being the scientist that I want to be.  Even if you can’t hear the music well, you can still enjoy it and the dancing, depending on how good the floors and walls transmit vibrations.  I found that at my school, not only the walls, but also the floors transmitted the vibration of the music really well.  Some music has a heavy beat that really stands out in the vibration being used as the tempo of the dance.  Give dancing and music a try, you might like it, even if it feels weird at first.
      I was happy to learn I had more friends than I realized. As you might be able to pick up from last month’s narrative, I had friends there, good ones.  The couple from the running team, the random group of people, the adult chaperones, the classmates – they’re all my friends; they could be yours as well at your school.  In the future, I would try to arrive with a friend, or at least arrange to meet some there.  I went alone, which went okay, but it would be very nice, going into the party, to know there’s a friend at your side. 

     Also, if you really want to party all night (or as late as the school will allow it), it would be very helpful to take a nap before prom. 
     Lastly, relax, try to have fun, and make the most of your experience. 
     All in all, I am glad I went to prom.  It was a fun learning experience, and I hope to have equal or greater fun when I go next year.  In the end, I realized that the only thing I had to fear was … nothing.

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