One isn’t the loneliest number

CNN picked up a seemingly minor story earlier this week: A high school student was banned from her junior prom. 

An Archbishop Carroll High School student wasn’t banned due to poor behavior or for struggling academically. Her tickets were purchased; her dress hung ready in the closet. Imagine her surprise when school officials told the student she was not able to attend after her date backed out only a week before the event.

The student described the situation to CNN, “It’s just kind of sickening.”

The Office of Catholic Education released a statement commenting on the ordeal, “Our high schools offer numerous dances and events throughout the year where dates are not required, but we view the prom as a special social event where a date is required to attend.” 

As college students, junior prom is light-years behind us, but I think this girl’s story is more relatable to us young adults than we realize.

Sure, most of us no longer have to worry about how to pin on a boutonniere or how to cover-up the untimely blemish; however, most of the “special social events” of our lifetime are ahead of us.

This high school clearly indicated that a date should be required for significant events, but this kind of thought should be eliminated, especially in cases involving younger individuals.

Peer pressure alone could enforce the idea that dating in high school is important. Yes, dating early allows individuals to get their feet wet in the pool of commitment before they have actual responsibility, but it also comes with serious consequences. Disregarding the standard problems like STDs and teen pregnancy, focusing on dating during teenage years can lead to being uncomfortable with being single.

According to, 44 percent of the adults living in the United States are unmarried, so while a portion of that number may be dating, it’s very likely the majority of those individuals will spend a good chunk of their adult life without a ball and chain.

With the decrease in numbers of marriages and the rise of divorce, it is mind-boggling that being single still holds an unnecessary stigma.  

Yes, it is wonderful to be able to share special occasions with a loved one or even a close friend, but the event can be just as great and memorable without a special someone. 

Eating out, going to the bar, even going to a wedding can be just as exciting without a date. The single life should be embraced, not discouraged.