It’s a right of passage for so many high school students – the must-attend event of the year, the culmination of years of schooling, the end of an era… or is it? Is prom everything it’s made out to be, or is it just another over-hyped, commercialized excuse to go on a spending spree? For many students, going to their prom is just financially out of reach, while others stress about living up to certain expectations for the one night that seems to hold so much importance. In the end, is prom really worth it all – the stress, the money, the endlessly detailed planning?
Remember that perfectly magical prom from that movie? Yeah, that ain’t happening in real life!
Leading up to prom, each student has their vision of how things should happen – it’s a picture perfect dream that includes all of the essentials, the date, the dress, the dancing, and it all happens just like it does in so many movies. Only, it usually doesn’t. Someone else will likely be wearing the same dress as you, your dream date may go with someone else, and just forget about those choreographed, yet spontaneous, group dance numbers you’ve seen in the movies.
In short, the real prom you attend will likely never live up to the fantasy you’ve imagined. But, if your plan is to have a fun and memorable night with the friends you’ve made over the years, share some laughs and dance like no one is watching, you’re likely to have a great time. You don’t have to lower your expectations to the bottom of the barrel, but just realize that nothing happens like the movies, and your prom is no different.
It’s going to cost how much?
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and start going a little overboard on the spending. Limos, dresses, flowers, hair, makeup, shoes, hotels… it can all add up quickly. The financial burden of prom expenses can alienate some students from attending altogether. So, decide whether or not it’s worth the cost in the first place, and if it is, creating a realistic budget that you can follow is a great idea to keep costs under control.
Celebrate your friendships
Let’s be real for a minute. No matter who you end up going to prom with, if anyone at all, you’re more likely than not never ever going to marry that person. Yes, it can happen, of course. But, chances are, they’ll be your prom date and nothing more. So, instead of focusing so much on who you’ve got on your arm, use your prom as a time to celebrate with the friends you’ve made throughout your school years. You may be moving off in different directions to go to college, so it may be some time before you see each other again. Celebrate those vital friendships that you’ve made!
Prom can be a wonderful night out, filled with awesome memories. But, it can also be a stressful, financial burden if you let it get out of control. Be realistic about things – remember that it’s not going to be like the movies, and you may not be able to spend the amount of money you want, but if you plan on having a great night, celebrating the end of your high school days with your friends, you’re bound to enjoy yourself.