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!


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


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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When You Give A Girl A Pair Of Cleats

It's more than a pair of shoes.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her far more than a new pair of shoes. You are giving her new friends and new challenges and so many lessons and some of her best memories.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a team. You are giving her a group of girls that she might not have ever talked to if it wasn’t for these common cleats. A group of girls who will teach her how to be a teammate. A group of girls who will laugh with her and yell at her and train with her and win with her and lose with her. With a pair of cleats comes a group of mismatched people with a common goal who are learning from each other and working together.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a coach. This coach is going to play an instrumental role in her love or hate for the sport. This coach will work her hard. This coach will train her and teach her and encourage her and yell at her and make her cry and hug her and cheer her on. This coach wants to see her succeed. This coach knows what these cleats mean, what this sport means. And this coach will be someone that she will watch. She will watch the way that her coach talks to her and talks to her teammates and talks to the other team and she will see her coach’s responses to games that are won and games that are lost. This pair of cleats comes with a role model, for better or for worse.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her team practices. You are giving her practice that will instill discipline and dedication and commitment. You are teaching her that she is on a team and she is expected to put in time. You are teaching her that her presence is important and that people are relying on her. You are teaching her how to balance her time, because, now, she has school and practice and games and teammates and friends and family. And for the first time in her life, she has to establish priorities. With this practice time comes some of the hardest conditioning and training. With this practice time comes some of her favorite memories as she bonds with her teammates and laughs with them and works hard with them. This pair of cleats comes with quite the time commitment.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her game days. You are giving her bus rides and warm up playlists and team matching hair ribbons and orange slices at half-time and constantly looking for your water bottle on the sidelines. You are giving her a competitiveness that can only come out on the field. You are giving her the cheers from the sidelines and the screams of her coach and the exhaustion in her legs at the end of the game. You are giving her handshakes with opponents and a winning attitude even when she loses. With a pair of cleats comes pasta dinners and game days; These will become her favorite days.

SEE ALSO: My First Semester As A College Athlete

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a challenge. She is going to grow and learn, and she’s going to want to quit at times, but she is going to look down at her feet and remember why she’s doing this. She’s going to remember her teammates and her coaches and the amount of time she’s poured into this sport, and she’s going to realize that it’s worth it. She’s going to be covered in bruises and her socks are going to stink, and she’s always going to be looking for a sock or needing a hair elastic. She’s going to be tired, and she’s going to get hurt. But those cleats are going to establish lessons that she’s going to remember for the rest of her life, friends that she is going to learn to love, and discipline that she is going to be thankful for. If you’re the girl with the cleats, soak it in. Love the long practices and the exhaustion and the sound of the whistle that starts the game. If you’re the girl without the cleats, go get some. Try something new. Take the risk. Sign up for the team, the musical, the club. You will regret it if you don’t. Even if you fail, few things can teach you the lessons that those cleats will.


The Girl Who Hung Up Her Cleats

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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If You've Been Friends With The Same Girls Since High School, You're Not Friends, You're Sisters

It's true when they say you'll know who your real friends are after graduating high school.


We all say we will stay in touch after graduation, but we don't. And that's not a bad thing at all. Of course, everyone gets busy as we all transition into that college lifestyle. We make new friends and we change our priorities as well as our own character. We naturally grow apart and that's just life.

The people I did stay in touch with were the ones who shared similar values as me. Among the four of us, family and education were all we truly cared about and we didn't make time for distractions. What we described as "distractions" go along the lines of partying and relationships. Especially since this is our first year and maybe, later on, we can look at those distractions as something worthwhile but at this time in our lives, we aren't concerned about making time for that.

I still have other friends back home but I only met up with my closest friends who made time to meet up. Every girl has an inner squad of friends that they'll always tell everything to. These girls are essentially your bridesmaids. They'll be in your lives for a very long time.

I'm the only one from our group that went out of state for school in New York whereas most of my friends stayed in Virginia. I thought I'd never really talk to most of the people I went to high school with just because I lived far away now and focused on schoolwork. But I was most excited to see my friends who always had my back, who are always ready to lend a hand, who got me through the struggles of high school. I did not get to see some of my friends due to traveling and leaving for school early. May, MJ, and Bee made time to have a girls night out.

The first night, we went to the movies to watch "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." Of course, it was raining and we were stuck in traffic so we missed about 20 minutes of the beginning and chose seats right in the middle of the aisle, annoying the packed J row. If you haven't seen the movie yet, you must!

The Thursday morning after, we went to Tyson's Corner mall and browsed through the different stores. They helped me find the correct shade of foundation at Sephora because I don't know much about makeup. May convinced MJ and me to try sushi. I never really liked any seafood or the smell of fish, let alone eating raw fish! I attempted to try sushi when I was 11-years-old, but I couldn't swallow it down. Instead, I gagged it into a napkin.

May says it's probably because it wasn't made fresh and this time, it'll be tasty. We tried the California roll, the scorpion, and shrimp tempura, all cooked inside. Baby steps. My favorite was the California roll and I want to actually go out and try more sushi. It surprised me more than I expected.

Saturday evening, we went out to eat at a Turkish restaurant where I ordered a dish that I thought was a gyro wrap but ended up being a gigantic beef patty. I don't think I've eaten this much in one sitting EVER. We were all in a blissful meat coma. But we managed to still go to Magnolia Dessert Bar to try a green tea waffle cake and ice cream. And of course, to commemorate this day, we all went into their small but well-decorated bathroom to take pictures. We tried our best given the dim light.

My friends already headed back to school. I didn't realize how much I missed spending time with them. I wish we could have all gone to the same school and been suitemates. High school and college friends are different. May, MJ, and Bee, I've known them more than five years and I miss our conversations and stories. Coming back home to them gave me a sense of nostalgia. My college friends are AMAZING, but the girls I grew up with, my sisters, will always hold a special place in my heart.

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