No matter what school you go to or how small of a town you're in, most students are salivating at the excitement of prom. It's basically a fifth season in the high school world. What characterizes prom season is glitz, glamour, couples, creative ways of finding a date, pre-dance food, sometimes afterparties, and always memories.
Of course, no prom season is complete without a sprinkling of stress, anxiousness, and drama. It's all just part of the experience and fun. Don't get me wrong, prom is an amazing experience, no matter if it is the first or fourth time going. I am very fortunate to have been a part of four years of prom. Although two of those were while I was in college, that did not matter because each year was different in terms of the dance theme, dinner spot, photo spot, and even who I went with. With all of the fun came the worries of being in a big group, who could all afford dinner beforehand, where everyone would be happy going to dinner, financing a tux or dress with flowers, transportation, and of course, making sure our dates were happy.
Being a city kid my whole life, I have no idea how prom is out in the country, so to speak. Therefore, I can only give an urban perspective of what prom is like and why there is no sense in getting caught up in any worries. Look, I was just like every hopeful on the silver or big screen. I always dreamed of the huge and magical atmosphere with hip music in the background and a breathtaking kiss on prom night. I dreamed of THE perfect night each year of prom. Not everything went smoothly any year of the big night, but it does not change the fact that all of my proms were extremely fun and worth the time put in to preparing.
You know, there is a point where one can go overboard. It doesn't have to be the most expensive place for dinner, nor does it have to be a party bus or limo. There is no need for the big red rose corsage. If it is with the right person or people, you will find a way to have a marvelous time without having to break the bank.
Big school proms tend to be more on the extravagant side as mine were. While smaller schools seem to just have theirs in the gym, others have theirs off site. This will increase the likelihood of ticket prices going up. Let's face facts. Prom is an expensive time with outfits and tickets alone. Not to mention, tuxedo rentals and buying dresses can be taxing, so find any friends who have either and accept a hand-me-down. With a high admission price of thirty-five dollars or more a ticket, it is easy to dread every other bit of the experience along with the rentals and purchases. But using your resources like so can make the experience a lot more fun.
Plus, urban or suburban schools often come with an increased chance of connecting groups of friends, meaning, you guessed it, larger groups. Is everyone going to get along and agree on places to go before the dance? Most of the time, everyone in a group tends to find even the littlest of ways to relate, so you are likely golden here. What is key to put into perspective is that it is not necessary to go to this big world-famous Italian joint or wherever when you can light up a casual atmosphere such as an Applebee's or something similar. It not only makes for a hell of a story years down the road, but places like this still offer options for most people. Additionally, who needs the most extravagant pre-prom photo site when your group can go anywhere and bring your own props. Make your own original memories because the places don't make the group. The group is what makes the places.
Don't feel the absolute need to buy a limo or party bus when you can set yourselves apart from the norm. Arrive like an entourage in your carpool non-gang. Show your classmates what's up in your own collective style. Carpooling this way is something more of you can agree upon than a limo or party bus because different companies have different styles, prices, and so forth, and it often drains the excitment of the big night.
The bottom line of all of this is that even though it may seem like prom is the end all be all of your high school experience, it is far from the truth. If you're going to do prom right, do it for YOUR story, and not just the story that everyone else wants to hear. From an urban perspective, prom is filled with diversity not only in the outfits and dates, but also the opportunities to make memories before, during, and after the dance. So, take a deep breath, weigh out your steps of preparation, use your resources within and among you, and know how to turn any imperfections of your prom into YOUR perfections.
Now, strut your way into the night and light up your prom.