15 Things That Are Actually Worth Spending Hundreds of Dollars on That Aren't Your Prom Dress

15 Things That Are Actually Worth Spending Hundreds Of Dollars On That Aren't Your Prom Dress

Invest that money in something else


Prom season, the time when high school girls go crazy over the perfect dress to wear and whether or not the cute guy from the baseball team is going to prompose with some cheesy poster. I'm not against prom by any means, I went to mine both junior and senior year. What I am against is girls feeling like they have to spend an arm and a leg on a dress they'll end up wearing for one night and then never wear again. I know plenty of people who bought their prom dress for under $50, so it is possible. If that isn't inspiration enough for you, here are 15 things you should spend hundreds of dollars on that aren't a prom dress.

1. Concert Tickets

John Mayer at Coastal Credit Union Music Pavilion August 2017

Bekah Pounds

Splurge a little and buy that concert ticket to see your favorite artist live. If there are a few things I've learned from impulsively spending a pretty penny on concert tickets, it's that a) there's nothing like the atmosphere of a live concert and b) the memories make the cost worth it every single time.

2. A road trip with friends

Polina and I celebrated as we finally made it to Glacier National Park after driving for three days straight.

Bekah Pounds

I know what you're thinking, how can a road trip possibly only cost you a few hundred dollars? Well, I'll be quite honest with you it takes careful planning and budgeting but it is possible. This summer I went on a road trip to Montana and the entire trip only cost each of us $325, so it is possible. Also, as long as you're with good friends and have a bopping playlist the memories made far outweigh the cost at the end of the day. This also guarantees way cuter pictures than prom anyways.

3. A new laptop

Unless you just recently invested in the latest MacBook I suggest saving the money from what you would spend on a prom dress and put it towards a new laptop. When you head off to college, I promise you will be thanking me because you won't have to worry about your old laptop breaking down in the middle of a 15 page paper.

4. A new wardrobe


If you play it smart you can have an entirely new wardrobe for under $300. Would you rather have one dress that you'll wear once or an entire closet full of clothes you'll wear time and time again? If you answered the former I'm not going to call you a liar, but I'm not going to call you a truther either.

5. 150 Cookout milkshakes

Image: 5 Off-Menu Cook Out Milkshakes You've Never Tried


Found on Google from spoonuniversity.com

This one sounds ridiculous (and maybe it is), but I would honestly go to Cookout 150 times to get a milkshake rather than spend hundreds of dollars on one dress.

6. Plane tickets to somewhere you've never been before

I believe at this point we were leaving Miami for Haiti, either way a beautiful view from outside the plane.

Bekah Pounds

Depending on the airline you choose and where you want to go, airplane tickets are only about $200 - $500. I know it sounds crazy, but save up the move you were going to put towards that fancy Cinderella dress and go on a spontaneous trip with some of your best friends. I promise you will get so much more out of a trip with friends than a dress for a night.

7. A mini trampoline


You could have as much fun as this cutie pie if you bought a mini trampoline. Fun fact: they only cost about $300 and are loads more fun than a $300 dress that you'll end up getting trashed in the mud trying to get the most aesthetically pleasing Instagram picture

8. A camera

Honestly, I love my camera and don't know what I'd do without it.

Bekah Pounds

I know what you're thinking, that there is no way possible that you could find a camera for under $600 but that just isn't true. Over Christmas break we went to a camera store in New York City and my mom got a brand new camera for $125. You don't need an insanely professional camera, as long as you can take pictures with it to capture all the memories you'll end up making that's all you need. Also, your new camera can capture all the amazing moments you have at prom in your inexpensive dress!

9. A puppy

Adopting a puppy typically costs between $200 - $500 depending on the age of the dog, location you're adopting from, and the breed. All I'm saying is a puppy is so much more fun to cuddle with than a dress.

10. Tickets to a professional sporting event


This one doesn't necessarily work if you aren't a sports fan, but if you understand why it's on here. If you haven't caught on to the underlying theme I'm presenting here, it's more about the experiences and memories than it is about spending the most for one night of your life.

11. Tickets to Hamilton (or really any musical of your choosing)

It wasn't on Broadway, but Hamilton was totally worth every cent I paid to go see it.

Bekah Pounds

I impulsively spent a pretty penny to go and see Hamilton with a close friend of mine and I will, honestly, never regret it. Not all musical tickets are that expensive, but I strongly recommend getting a group of friends together and using the money you were going to put towards a prom dress towards something fun like a night out at the theater.

12. Go on a hot air balloon ride

Pascale Bushaw

While I have never actually done this before, it is one of the things that I definitely think would be worth giving up the overpriced, mermaid gown in favor of a cheaper version. I mean, just think of all the sites you could see from a bird's eye view!

13. Cooking Classes


In college you're going to want to know how to cook for yourself to save yourself money. Also, taking a cooking class with your best friend or significant other is a fun way to learn a new skill together and have a bonding experience. Also, if you were curious they're only around $200 for two people so really it's practically a steal in comparison to most of the prom dresses out there.

14. Gym Membership


If you're like me and find an escape in exercise, then this one is for you. All too often in high school I wanted to work out but a gym wasn't close enough to my house and I didn't want to have to pay for the price of the gym. Well, if you take the money you would've spent on a prom dress you can afford to pay for a year's membership to the gym of your choice.

15. Passes to a theme park


If you're an adrenaline junkie in need of some weekend plans, splurge on some tickets to your favorite theme park and take off the day after prom and head there with your friends. If you do this, you'll be (sort of) knocking out two birds with one stone by splurging on both a road trip and a theme park.

I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't spend a decent amount of money on my prom dresses the two years I went, but I've learned from that. Looking back now three years later I wish I'd done things a little differently. If I were to go back I wouldn't have spent as much on my prom dresses that still, to this day, sit in the back of my closet untouched after their one night in the sun. Instead, I would have used the money I saved and planned a fun spring break trip with my friends or went on one last hoorah before we headed off to college. Sadly, I can't go back, but what I can do is learn from my mistakes and inform others on better ways to use their money instead of a dress you wear for one night.

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Saying Goodbye To Freshman Year

"High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster."

“High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster”, we’ve all heard it and probably all ignored it as well. I mean time is time. It moves at the same pace no matter what you’re doing right?


High School is over, I’m now a freshman in college and it’s April. I’m sitting here in my dorm looking at all my clothes, and bins thinking, how in the hell will this all fit in my car again? It is crazy, I need to be thinking about all of this now because there is one month of my freshman year left, just one.

All I can keep thinking is how? Wasn’t it just last week that I moved into my cozy room at the end of the hall, or just yesterday that I ran home to two hundred beautiful new sisters? As much as it seems like yesterday, it wasn’t.

It was almost eight months ago that I stepped onto this campus as a freshman, now it is my last four weeks and they are jam-packed. From formal to finals I am in the home stretch of my first year of college. I just registered for my classes next semester, and can’t get it through my head that I will soon be a sophomore.

While walking around campus I still catch myself thinking, wow I am really here. I am a college student, at a school, I fall more in love with every day. So, how can I be a sophomore now when I feel like I just got here?

Yes, I still have three amazing years of college ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what those years have in store in for me. But, I just can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t be a freshman anymore. I won’t be the youngest in my sorority family, I won’t be coming back to a dorm every night.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am stoked to live in an apartment next year with my absolute best friends. And you definitely could have heard me saying “I am so over this whole dorm thing” once or twice this semester, but now I can’t help but see all the things I’ll miss.

Freshman year is just unique. You get this giant clean slate, a fresh start. And it is just waiting to see what you’ll do with it. It truly is a year of firsts. My first failure, the first time being on my own, my first time not knowing anyone in my classes. Yes, that can all be a lot to take on, I was terrified at the start of the school year. But before I knew it, I had a routine, I had friends, I had a life here.

And this life surpassed all my expectations. I have a home away from home. I have friends that I know will be my bridesmaids some day. I have experiences that I’ll never forget.

Now as I head back home for the summer I couldn’t be more excited to be with my friends there and my family. But, I also couldn’t be sadder to leave my friends here, even if it’s only for three months because they’ve become another kind of family.

Despite leaving freshman year behind, we have so many more memories to make whether it’s doing the Seminole chop in Doak, coordinating our Halloween costumes, or just chilling at the house. We’ve all come so far this year, and I can’t wait to see just how far we go. So bring it on Sophomore year, I’m ready for ya.

Cover Image Credit: Cameron Kira

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Your Feelings Are Not Invalid, It's OK To Not Be OK

I know that life can get really hard, but I promise it'll be okay.


Recently, I have had an extremely hard time with my level of happiness that I have in my life. I go through my days feeling overly exhausted by the drama and hardship around me. I have gone through the past few weeks really struggling with this stint of depression and anxiety that I have been fighting with through the course of my life. These past few weeks, I have had large issues with this feeling of not being good enough and feeling like the world around me is falling apart because of stress and drama and self-image issues happening around me. I was at a point where I found myself not being able to have a positive thought in my mind and it was feeling like the whole world was against me.

I hate feeling like this. I feel like my world is crashing down and I truly just want to feel better. I have come to the conclusion in my life that the world I find myself living in makes us feel like if you feel depressed or upset, you have an issue and you are not alright. Numerous times I have been told that I need to get over it or that my issues are just "first world issues" that do not matter. This has shown me that there is communication in our world that is not being discussed. Depression has become this thing that society looks at so commonly and we have become accustomed to the idea of people around us being depressed that it makes us numb to it. This has made people think of depression as something not as horrible as it truly is because "everyone" has it. Depression is something that is extremely detrimental to the person being affected by it.

My journey with depression and anxiety started at a young age. I would have anxiety attacks at random times because of untold issues that I was having with my father or issues with bullying. From that young age, I learned very quickly to put up an act when I was around people because I didn't want them to tell me that I needed to get over it or tell me that it was not an actual issue and I was just being dramatic. I kept my mouth shut and pretended that this black mass wasn't engulfing me into is and pulling me deeper and deeper into this whole that was full of self-deprecating thoughts and images. People in school with me and that went dancing with me couldn't tell at all. They thought that I was this nice, happy little girl and honestly, I couldn't be mean to anyone else because all of my efforts were being put into being mean to myself. But, as I said, I couldn't express this to anyone because I felt like this issue I was having was one that I shouldn't be having and that there was something wrong with me for feeling this way.

Here's the thing: it has taken me so long to realize it, but I have come to understand that it is okay not to be okay.

Going through my life with this overall and underlying sadness and self-image trouble does prevent me from doing some things, but it does not mean that I need to stop doing what I am. I do have this issue but it is alright for me to talk about it and there is nothing wrong with me for feeling the way I do because at this point in my life and in history, there are a lot of things I have to deal with that are not the greatest mentally. Understanding the issue and talking about it is the only way to improve my metal standing, however, and I feel like this right to talk about it should not feel like it is too taboo to actually have conversations about. The world around us though needs to listen and stop blowing off these issues like they are not important. I have experienced many times this idea of someone telling me that I complain too much after I talk to them about the struggles I have in my life and I am sick and tired of feeling as though my problems do not matter. Big or small, people react to hardships differently and this needs to be something that the world understands and listens to.

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