It’s Okay to Say No


Olivia Huckabay , Magazine and Copy Editor

      A guy runs up to you with a huge smile on his face and a poster that he made with the help of your friends. He awkwardly asks you to homecoming, and you yes because you feel overwhelmed and rushed to answer. Immediately after you say yes, you begin to realize that you really don’t want to go with this person but feel like it would be mean to say no. Plus, you don’t want people to talk about how rude you were, so you are stuck going to homecoming with someone you can’t stand. There is a problem with this mindset. Both boys and girls should be able to say no if they are asked to a dance without people thinking that they are mean-spirited.

     As people enter high school, dances usually become an event that most look forward to, and it is usually a trend among freshmen to rush to decide who to ask to a dance. In fact, it seems like a competition. Who will be the first to ask someone to a dance, or who will ask in the most creative way? This problem is worse for freshmen and sophomores than upperclassmen because many upperclassmen are either in relationships or have more established and larger friend groups.

     “By the time you are a junior and senior you are so much closer to everyone, and you just have a friendly bond with everyone,” Sophomore McKenna Wheatley said. “Most people are also getting into serious relationships, but freshman and sophomore year, you don’t even know what you are doing at dances.”

     However, there still tends to be a cloud of negativity surrounding saying no to dances. Particularly at St. Andrew’s, people are generally expected to say yes to anyone who asks them because it is the kindest response, and this concept is nothing new.

     “Yes, we were [expected to say yes] because it was considered polite and it took a lot of courage for someone to ask someone else,” Ninth Grade English teacher Marty Kelly said. “It was also how I ended up going to prom one year with someone I didn’t really want to because my guy friend was supposed to ask me the next day at school, but the other fellow called me on the phone the night before. That taught me a lesson not about saying yes or no, but about the fact that I shouldn’t have been waiting on someone else in the first place.”

     The best way to avoid people thinking you are rude is by making sure to politely decline the invitation. When someone asks you a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, there is always a chance that someone will say no, and the same concept applies to being asked to a dance. However, if you do know that you would feel uncomfortable dancing with this person for hours or eating and taking pictures with them, you should say no because consent is of the utmost importance.

     “I still think that it is within their rights to say no if they don’t want to go with that person because [dances are] a whole deal; it’s a long night, there’s taking pictures, eating dinner, stuff like that, so if you don’t like that person, you shouldn’t be forced to spend a whole day with them,” Senior William Langford said.

      Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer to a homecoming proposal; you should respond with the answer that you are most confident in. At the end of the night, it does not matter what other people thought about you or your response, but rather whether or not you enjoyed your high school dance.