Prom-posing solutions for your Prom-blems


Destina Sarussi

What better way for seniors to celebrate and wrap up their last year of high school than with prom night. “Dressing up and doing my hair and makeup is a really good confidence booster,” junior Lydia Pelen said. “I think everyone will feel really good when they’re all dressed up.”

Destina Sarussi, Copy Editor

Buy your flowers, book the hair appointment and bring your boutonniere; prom season is here! Between the frantic search for the picture-perfect look and the strategic planning of table arrangements and transportation, the pressure is on for both students and their parents to create the most extravagant night. However, when did a night of friends and fun memories turn into a competition for looking the fanciest and spending the most money? 

I feel like everything is a popularity contest,” senior Camryn Caruso said.

According to a survey of 31 juniors and seniors, 45% reported feeling moderately to very stressed about prom, with 32% of all participants attributing their stress to table arrangements. With tables primarily of ten and a limited number of 12-person tables claimed at a first-come first-serve basis, everyone had to scramble to claim a seat with their friends before they all filled up, which meant inevitable disappointment for many. 

Overwhelmingly high and unfair expectations also fall on girls in preparation for prom, particularly in terms of physical appearance.

I don’t love all the money I had to spend and consequently had to pick and choose what I wanted to invest in,” junior Gabriella Abbott said. “The money for girls between the dress, shoes, nails, makeup, hair and jewelry made it a stressful process preparing. Now that I have it all, I’m mostly excited to see how the night goes.”

Not only do many girls end up dropping hundreds of dollars to perfect their prom ensemble, but the immense pressure for a flawless appearance often prompts shifts in eating and exercise habits, as well as increased self-criticism, both of which can lead to dangerous long-term effects. To prevent any detriments to physical or mental health, both parents and students must always aim to model healthy habits and be on the lookout for behavioral shifts in fellow prom attendees. 

While many students recognize prom weekend as a nice break from schoolwork, the horrors of AP exam season also begin less than two weeks later. This busy schedule often elicits even more anxiety, as if the social and financial stress of prom isn’t already enough. However, with a reasonable budget and a decent handle on time management, you can make anything work. 

At the end of the day, all you can do is control your controllables. While movies often blow prom way out of “prom-portion”–portraying it as the most important night of your life–if it doesn’t go as planned, it’s not the end of the world. Besides, you’ll be able to look back at this night years from now and laugh at all the shenanigans of high school dances. 

Bring a date or bring your friends–let go of the social pressure to conform. Buy a new dress from a bridal shop or score a great deal at your local thrift store–let go of the financial pressure to conform. Very rarely do school dances live up to the hype, unfortunately, but as long as you base your decisions on whatever brings you the most joy, you can foster the fondest memories for years to come.