The Counties Games

Sophie de Bruijn, Breaking News Managing Editor

If you’re currently a junior, there is no doubt you have already been told that this will be the most difficult year of your life. Between the SAT’s and ACT’s, panic-inducing Naviance career profiling assessments, and the seemingly never ending college search, it’s hard to believe otherwise. However, there is one source of stress and anxiety that is entirely avoidable, if approached in the right way: The Counties Assembly Ball.

As the school year kicks into high gear and the temperature outside drops even lower than the average temperature on the third floor during any given season, I know exactly where you are. The first junior girl probably secured her date back in August (or, if you’re living up to the standards of the class of 2014, early July), setting off an inevitable chain reaction of panic. The constant stream of photos reminding you of the ever-increasingly-elaborate methods of asking a date (let’s face it, if a ukelele, body paint, or dozens of helium balloons aren’t involved you’re not living up to convention at this point) will no doubt spark frenzy, whether you want them to or not. This initial hysteria is, for the most part, unavoidable.

But, my advice to you, as a senior girl who lived through it only a few months ago, is this: take a deep breath, not only to maintain your own sanity, but in order to have fun on the actual night of Counties. Believe it or not, the more you agonize over hem-lengths, fake tans, teeth whitening, photo groups, and after-party themes, the less fun you will have on the oh-so-magical night.

You might think that planning everything to the last detail months in advance would make life easier, when in reality, every minute mishap along the way will seem much more significant than it really is. One strand of hair out of place will induce a full blown panic attack if  your imminent Counties profile picture is all you’ve been focusing on for five months straight. More importantly, you don’t want to end up spending the night measuring the fun you’re having against the stress and anxiety that it has caused for months.

Junior year is stressful enough. Although it may seem impossible when all the ominous events of the year appear to be right in your face try your best to take a step back and see things in perspective. The success of the night will depend on what you and your friends make of it, and stressing out to no avail won’t make the dance or the nights leading up to it any more enjoyable.