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.