Solving the PROMblem

Solving the PROMblem

Lucy Brisman, Opinion Editor

When I think of the quintessential American prom, I think of dim, dirty gyms with silly themes like under the sea, fruit punch and pizza, and bad music. I don’t think of fancy dinner halls where students stand and act like adults at a cocktail party. 

I want prom to be something that we look back on fondly. While I know that it might not be so realistic that everyone will be able to meet the expectations they have in their head for what prom will look like, we should do what we can to make it a better experience.

When I asked some former students about prom, they said they were waiting at the door to get to “after prom.” They said it was boring and not fun at all. Some said they wished they had skipped it altogether. Should that be the memory students have of the prom?

Another problem with prom is the price. 115 dollars is a lot of money for students. All that goes towards a fancy hall, decorations, fancy food, and other additional costs. We are 17, and I can personally attest to the fact that I would rather prom be in our gym for 20 dollars with a DJ and some pizza. 

Students should have more autonomy over their prom experience. I have spoken to student government members, and they expressed frustration with the lack of inclusion of the students in the prom process. 

If it is left to the hands of the students, it could also lead to more opportunities for fun events. With the low cost and easy planning of a gym dance function, we could have more a year.

 My mom told me that her favorite school function growing up was the themed parties where they got dressed up in fun costumes, and it was just about being a kid.

If we had more dances and kept it casual, I think prom pressure would be eased. I have felt the stress with what dress I am wearing, how I will do my hair, and don’t even get me started on prom dates. 

Some would argue that if we dilute the importance of the event and make it less formal, some students will not come. However, if a student does not want to come to an event unless it is fancy,  and is not interested in the fun of a school event, then maybe we have to accept that a school dance is not for everyone. 

Has the point of prom been lost? It should be an opportunity to destress, have fun in a safe environment, dress up, and do something that is such a part of being a high school student. When we can get back to that, prom will be something that is looked forward to and be a fond memory of high school.