How To Handle Getting Set-up at Homecoming

By Jordan Doak

My freshman year, I was set up for US homecoming. I’d never met him and I didn’t even have a Facebook at that point in my life, so I signed a sheet with a name that meant nothing to me on it and faxed it back to US. There were six people in our homecoming group: me, my twin, a girl a year older than us (who I didn’t know especially well at the time) and our dates. All of us forgot boutonnieres and we watched “The Office” before my date’s parents drove the six of us to the dance in two separate cars. After we got there, I didn’t see my date for the rest of the night.

What I’m starting to realize is that this scenario is not that uncommon, especially for new freshmen (like me). There will always be those guys who waited until the last minute to find a date, and are now in dire need of one. Those unfortunate boys will ask their friends who are girls who in turn will ask their friends who are girls as a liaison, and before you know it, you have a date that you’ve never seen or heard of before in your life. Getting set-up can be fun whether you stay with your date for the night or not. Here are a couple of tips on how to have a good night, after getting set up:

1) Go with other people you know. Even if you don’t know your date, you’ll be more comfortable if you’re friends with at least one other person in the group
2) Know how tall your date is. You will meet his parents for the first time at pictures; you don’t want them to know you as the girl who towered over him in your stilettos. Either ask a friend, or…
3) TEXT HIM BEFORE HOMECOMING. This could be the most important point on this list. If you can figure out what you have in common beforehand, conversation will be easier. This way you’ll know firsthand what plans are for rides, before, after, and whatever else you can think to ask. This would also be an opportune time to make sure that the corsage and boutonniere match, and to figure out how high your heels can be for pictures.
4) Talk to the other people in your group, girls and guys. If you’re being set up, it is safe to assume that you don’t know that many people yet. Talk to everyone. You never know who you’ll really hit it off with and who you’d rather not waste your time on. Homecoming is a great way to introduce yourself to people that you’ve never talked to before. All you have to do is pull the cliché, “oh my gosh, you look so pretty!” and follow them on Instagram after.
5) Take lots of pictures. I wish I had taken more pictures – that night was so uncomfortable it would have been perfect for TBT’s.
6) Don’t wear the same dress that you wore to HB. Unless you didn’t post any pictures from HB, I wouldn’t wear the same dress to two events. You want different outfits in different pictures. I wore the same dress twice my freshman year and I was ridiculed mercilessly by my upperclassmen friends. It’s really easy to borrow a dress from someone if you plan ahead.
7) Talk about dinner plans. Talk to your friend or your date about where you’re going or what you’re having for dinner. If he’s hosting, you might even be able to choose. You don’t want to end up going to the dance hungry if you don’t like what’s on the menu. Not only will you feel gross but you don’t want to hear your stomach growling all night. In addition, you can make sure that it will be in your price range – you don’t want to have to be spotted on the first date!
8) Figure out where you’re spending the night. Talk to your friends in the group about plans for after. It’s most fun if you and your friends spend the night at someone’s house completely overanalyzing your date and every other aspect of the night.
9) Coordinate for Pictures. Even though you don’t know your date, you want nice pictures. Make sure you figure out a tie to match your dress, matching boutonniere and corsage, shoes, blazers, etc. (Again, TEXT HIM)
10) Getting ditched could be to your advantage. If your date doesn’t cling to you the entire night, take it as an invitation to meet or dance with new people. Especially at all boys schools, there is a boy-to-girl ratio that is 100% in your favor. One of my friends was actually ditched by her date, and ended up finding her future boyfriend.

Getting set-up can be a great way make new friends and have fun. If you go into the night with a positive attitude, have considered these tips, and have a little luck, you could have an amazing time!