Ignore the expectations

Overcoming photo anxiety, comparison and problems surrounding homecoming

The Tower Staff,

We at the Tower are looking forward to homecoming under the stars; with all the popcorn, games and dancing, it’s bound to be an amazing night. However, in an issue focused on confronting perfectionism and anxiety, it’s impossible to ignore the expectations that come with the night, the pressure to make it perfect.

Wanting to look good in photos, having the right dress and pressures to find a group or date trouble members of Tower’s own staff. As the dance approaches, staffers buzz about dinner plans and after-glows. But, in the midst of that excitement are group problems, date drama and uncertainty if staffers even want to attend.

The buzz can create a demanding pressure that’s only exacerbated by social media. There’s an expectation to capture the night to post later, but it’s important to remember that memories should be captured to savor them- not analyze them.

Taking photos, especially when they’ll be posted, can be hard for students with anxiety. It can make an individual hyper-critical of their appearance and compel them away from taking pictures or even attending the dance.

Another pressure, especially for female students, is finding the right outfit. It can often be an uncomfortable price, hard to find one within the dress code or even hard to be satisfied with one’s appearance in it. Knowing people will be observing can stray students away from fully expressing themselves.

And the internet is an opportunity to compare, spawning thoughts of : ‘That group had a better time’, ‘She looked so much better than me’ or ‘I wish I’d gone with them.’

As they say, comparison is the thief of joy. If it takes avoiding social media for a few days or seeking support from friends and family, or even a specialist, a dance meant to be light-hearted should not be turned damaging.

The Tower staff wants students to remember to only partake in activities they’re comfortable with, and if they’re in photos, to not be overly concerned with other’s opinions. Often, people are entirely focused on themselves, not others, and reminding oneself of that can help avoid anxious thoughts.

The staff is grateful homecoming is able to happen this year and hopes to see a great turnout on Saturday. We’re optimistic the Student Association will be able to turn the unexpected setting into an amazing experience.