Premature Counties preparation warrants unnecessary stress


Molly Gold '21

Photos in the group usually receive comments praising the girls’ fashion choices. A few pictures are typically posted every day.

A week before the first day of school, the rising junior class was sent into a panic. We were not anxious over the immense amount of expected schoolwork, college visits we anticipated or the increased pressure from our parents; rather, we were scrambling to find dates to Counties: a dance that was six months away. 

After 24 hours of successfully attempting to secure a date for myself and being bombarded with information about other peoples’ dates, conversations and even rejections, the dust seemed to settle.

However, recently, the panic has resurfaced with the creation of a Facebook group: “2021 girls!!” The group was created for the sole purpose of posting photos of counties dresses.  As the group was created in mid-November and the dance is not until February, the premature creation of this Facebook group causes unneeded anxiety, pointless jealousy and produces an ill-fitting feeling of superficial competition between girls to find a unique and perfect dress. 

What’s unfortunate about the prematurity of my grade’s preparation is the fact that I collapsed under the peer-pressure. As soon as I heard people were finding dates, I rushed to figure out which junior boy I should ask, ensuring that I wasn’t the only girl left without an “acceptable” date. As soon as I was added to “2021 girls!!” I rushed to find my ideal dress, ensuring that somebody else didn’t get it first. 

The main problem with this group is that the purpose of these photos was not to gauge opinions or ask for inspiration, but to ensure that two girls were not wearing the same dress: something so primitive and meaningless. 

This motive leads to not only competition between peers, but judgement as well. As girls post pictures of their dresses, almost every girl studies it, evaluating the girl’s fashion choice. 

After receiving a notification in the group, I have found myself doing the same thing. Wondering who has the prettiest or ugliest color, the most flattering cut or the best style. While the comments are usually flooded with positive affirmations, as most online posts are, the emotions behind the comments are often filled with jealousy or judgement. 

By participating in this trivial tradition, I knowingly compete with my classmates. This takes away from the excitement that we should feel in preparing for our first school dance. Rather than fixating on our dates in August and our dresses in November, we should appreciate this memorable high school experience.