Parker Nolan

Senior Mandy Halbert has already been to prom and has a different view than junior Mary Catherine Wells who will attend for the first time.

Prom: Replay of memories vs. big expectations

April 27, 2017

As prom night approaches, juniors don’t know what to expect but seniors are ready for round two. Two TRL staffers, senior Mandy Halbert and junior Mary Catherine Wells, give their views of prom: been there, done that vs. sky-high expectations.

Been there, done that

Girls seem to grow up dreaming of prom. We eagerly await that extravagant dress and that perfect date to sweep us off our feet. I was no exception. I remember looking at prom dresses online in middle school. I picked the color and the neckline, decided on tight or poofy, picked between updos or elegant curls. We romanticize prom night and imagine it being like our own Cinderella moment (but without losing our carefully selected shoe.) But like many girls, I realized that it’s really not all it’s hyped up to be.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my junior prom. The people I went with made it a night to remember. Prom itself was just a hassle.

It all starts with the dress. Those dream-like expectations vanish the moment you walk in the store. Dresses everywhere. Where do you even begin? I started poking through racks and racks of dresses. Some puffy, some tight, some lace, some with enough glitter to trigger my asthma.

When you finally limit the store down to about five to six dresses, you stand in an enormous line full of tired, grumpy, snooty girls and wait. After what quite literally could be hours, you finally get the amazing opportunity of squeezing yourself into a teeny tiny room along with those bulging dresses. After enduring an hour of staticy hair, tripping over excess fabric, sucking your gut in, and tugging at zippers, you find it: a dress you actually like.

I’ll admit, getting a date is fun. He’s probably the highlight of it all. But once your date is secured, it’s time to plan. There’s nothing worse than planning with a group of people who all see their night a different way.

If this is your first prom, you have probably already experienced those inevitable arguments. Limo or no limo? Fast food or fancy restaurant? Indoor or outdoor photos? Frocket or no frocket t-shirts? No matter what, there will be an argument, and prom arguments can get messy. It becomes like war. You strategize your opinions and carefully defuse potentially explosive texts from friends. You agree to treaties and compromises.

When you somehow manage to plan the whole shindig, the big day comes.

From my experience, girls always think it’s a great idea to get ready together.

And from my experience, it’s never a great idea.

Unless you have a bathroom the size of a beauty salon, good luck. Curling irons and straighteners lay around haphazardly, almost begging to start a fire. Heels scattered across the ground make for many potential bruised feet and stab wounds. And no matter what you do, there is never enough mirror space for everyone. Heed my advice and just get ready at your own home. You’ll have plenty of time to gush over your friends’ dresses later.

Most of the drag of prom is the planning and preparation. It builds up all these expectations that are almost never met. However, I highly encourage you to go at least once. The night, with the right people and reasonable expectations, will turn out to be an amazing memory. Prom only exists in high school, so don’t ruin it by expecting this magical fairytale night.

Life isn’t a fairytale. But life is beautiful if you make it that way. So be happy in whatever your circumstances. Cinderella’s night didn’t go as planned, but something better was in store. So make the most of prom, even if you lose a shoe.

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Sky-high expectations

Ever since childhood, long dresses in windows of stores caught my eye. Playing dress up was one of my favorite things to do. I’d put on my ‘princess dress’ and pretend like I was attending a ball just for me. Now ten years later, as a junior in high school, I can finally attend prom and fulfill a childhood dream. Although now I realize this fantasy of the ball is so much more than the dress.

Freshman and sophomore year I would see the prom-posal tweets, watch upperclassmen dress up during prom week, and see the pictures posted on social media the night of the event. But this year will be different since I will be on the other side of the spectrum. I will be getting to experience these events first hand instead of watching from the outside.

Prom nowadays isn’t just about the one night, it has become a week-long holiday that I am now allowed to attend.For prom week, I’m finally allowed to partake the dress up days during the five days leading up to the dance. Like Friday, the day before the dance, everyone wears their group’s prom shirt.. Some might see these days as childish or stressful,but to me, they are enjoyable and exciting.

Also with prom, comes things that might not necessarily be “appropriate” for homecoming. This includes the shirts, a destination dinner, and alternate transportation. Since the homecoming dance takes place at the high school, dinner choices are usually limited to the area close around the high schools’ city. But since prom locations are usually further away, this widens the options for dinner and also allows groups to decide to rent another transportation than just their cars or their parents, like a limo or a bus. All of these new experiences makes prom that more entertaining and makes it a night to remember.

The process of buying a dress is a situation of its own. To start off the series of events is driving to Dallas with friends and locating a store that specializes in prom dresses. The store consists of racks and racks of dresses tightly squeezed into rows and rows that people awkwardly push past each other in order to look through the options: and I love it. Walking through the aisles and having the stress of the hundreds of dresses only a few feet away from me almost make me rethink the idea of attending prom. But you have to push those thoughts aside. Then once you find one, then two, then three dresses you realize your arms might snap any second and it might be time to get into line for a room. After you find the possible dresses, you have to wait in the painfully long line. After that you have to squeeze in and out of dresses in a dressing room with dimensions no bigger than about 2 feet by 2 feet to finally discover a dress that is perfect. And though this may sound miserable, and it might have been, the experience was one that I enjoyed and look forward to next year.

Then comes the day every step has lead up to. Adults have stories they tell about their childhood and if you ask them about their prom night it will most likely ring a bell. The dance, dinner, getting ready, and a night with friends. I haven’t yet experienced this, but as the date comes closer the excitement grows. People may say to not get expectations too high but even if the event doesn’t live up to my full expectations, I know the night itself will be one to be remembered.

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