The Ultimate Timeline To All Things Prom

The Ultimate Timeline To All Things Prom

Prom is in April...the shopping starts in January...may the planning begin!

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Alright, seniors, sure, it's January and the new year literally just started, but I can bet that all of your thoughts right now are centered towards April—prom. When I was in your shoes one short year ago, I was surprised by all the planning that occurred months before the big day, and while I was going through it all, I created a "prom timeline" that not only helped my friends and I stay organized but hopefully can help all of you too. Happy planning!

January: Dress shopping!

Personally, this was one of my favorite parts of the whole prom experience, because, simply put, the dress is the most important part. One Saturday in January, my friends, their moms, and I went to dress shops all over the area and tried on what seemed like hundreds of dresses. It's best to do this early because a lot of stores have a "one dress, one school" policy where they can only sell a dress to one person that goes to the certain school, that way there are no repeats... from that store at least. PRO TIP: 12/10 recommend pockets—you ladies know how fantastic they are.

Mid-February: Date hunting begins

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If you already have a boyfriend, obviously you don't have to worry about this part because you two will already have the "tie matching the dress" thing down, but for others, "finding" a date is important so you don't have to rush through important things like color-matching or corsage-buying. Of course, it is fun to just go with your group of gal pals too—date or no date!

End of February or early March: Prom house shopping

A lot of groups will go away with to a lake house—or a "prom house"—for the weekend after prom, but you have to book fast so the best and biggest houses aren't taken! Being from the Chicago suburbs, most people will rent houses a few hours away in Wisconsin or Michigan. Don't forget to plan out who is bringing what food, games, movies, etc.

End of March: Order t-shirts

This is not a mandatory thing, but at my school, each friend group would order t-shirts or "bro tanks" with a quote or expression on it and then wear it the day before prom to school and during prom weekend with everyone at their house.

End of March or early April: Make appointments

Ladies: hair and makeup appointments are a must—unless you're lucky and can pull it off on your own or have a talented friend. Make appointments at a hair salon or makeup store like Sephora fast before the good time slots fill up! Don't forget about mani-pedis too!

Early April: The little things

Go to your local florist to pick out the flowers you want in your corsage or bouquet so they match your dress and the tux—they'll also add some flair to your photos! Organize where your group will be taking pictures beforehand and create a plan B in case of rain. And if you want a professional photographer, you will also want to line that up ASAP.

Mid-April: The cute "promposals" begin

I'm not sure why we figure out dates months in advance but wait till now to do the whole "asking" thing with a poster or decorated house, but it's just something that happens.

Day of prom: Go time!

You did it, you made it to the day that you have been "planning" since you were 10 watching "High School Musical" (but actually planning for real the past four months)! Wake up early, wash your face, start getting your hair and makeup done, get on your dress and head to photos! Before you know it the dance will be happening and you'll be loving every moment.

Through all of the drama that prom may entail, it will all be worth it in the end. There will be times when your group can't decide on little things, or the group chat will be shooting messages back and forth at the speed of light, but years from now you won't remember that stuff, you will only remember the good times had with you and your best friends.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade.

I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass, and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school, and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone, it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach:

Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off," and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake, I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself, not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, but you also turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It's about the players.

You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won't have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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To The Senior Who Thinks They WON'T Miss High School, You're So Wrong

It's hard to imagine you will miss a place like high school, but believe me, you will.

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I am writing this letter because, yes, this was me.

I could not wait to get out of high school. I hated the monotony of all my classes. I hated teachers who assigned busy work just to try to make it through the 50-minute class period. I hated being told when I could eat when I could leave and what I could wear.

I couldn't wait to graduate and get to college. The thought of creating a schedule for myself and getting to choose the classes I take seemed too good to be true. I continued to see people become sad at the end of high school and I couldn't help but think, "How could I ever miss high school?"

The truth is, you don't. I don't miss all the torturous monotony of high school, but it is naive of me to say that I don't miss some things.

To the tough guy like me who thinks you will graduate and never look back, here's what you will miss.

You will miss your friends.

Chances are more than 50 percent of your friends will not be going to the same college as you. Even the ones that do go to the same school will most likely have different majors than you, and let's face it— they might as well be a world away. You'll begin to appreciate your high school friends more and more. After all, those are the friends who knew and loved you through your awkward phase.

You will miss your teachers.

Until I got to college, I never realized how meaningful the relationships I had built with my high school teachers were. In college, you lose the environment where all of your teachers knew your name. While you might not miss certain high school teachers, you will miss the ones with which you built important personal relationships.

You will miss your family.

The family is involved in your high school career way more than you expect. Parent nights, grandparents' day, extracurricular activities. Your family, immediate and extended, are involved in your high school career in so many ways. When you get to college, you realize that it's all upon you. You won't have a parent signing all of your failed math tests. You won't always have a parent at your extracurricular activities.

You won't miss high school. You will miss the amazing people around you that helped you make it through your four torturous years of high school. So, if you're a graduating senior or even underclassmen, take a moment to appreciate the people in your life right now, because I guarantee you will miss them.

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