The arrival of Prom always seems to bring a certain level of excitement and buzz amongst the student body. Girls become giddy with the anticipation of showing themselves off in their beautiful floor length gowns, and heavily supplied makeup, and the boys in their debonair tuxes. Waves of high expectations flood the hallways as people discuss their plans for that night. Kids imagine that this will be one of the best nights of their lives. Unfortunately, most of these hopeful youths will be let down… prom is just prom. I personally attended two proms in two nights, Pacifica on Friday night, and Samohi on Saturday night, although they were extremely different experiences, neither was successful in accomplishing a spot on my list of best nights ever.
Although getting ready with my fellow female Pacificans contained many smiles and laughs, there was a certain pressure involved. Everyone feels as if they have to look better than they ever have before, as if this night was the most important night of any so far. I won’t deny that I enjoyed having my hair and makeup done, who doesn’t like to look a little less flawed and a lot more perfect than they actually are? However, it felt as if I was wearing a costume, the girl with bright red lips, teased hair, and charcoal lined eyes in the mirror wasn’t really me… but it wasn’t actually me who people were expecting to see; it was the girl in the mirror with the makeup and the fancy dress and the 5 inch stilettos. So of course I went through the whole process again the next night for Santa Monica’s prom.
The feeling when I arrived at the Victorian was expected. I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful everyone looked, and the night proceeded without any hiccups. We mingled over virgin mojitos for awhile, participating in small talk about the venue and people’s outfits. Then we were served appetizers and the meal we had previously selected. A small dance floor was appropriate as not that many people ever seemed to gather all at once. I did not attend an after prom due to the threat of graduation privileges being revoked. Overall, the night was entertaining, but nothing that would qualify it to be an extraordinary night occurred. Then Saturday rolled around.
Let me just start of by explaining that my boyfriend goes to school amongst 3,000 kids. Yes, 3,000. So of course my expectations of the night were slightly different from those of Pacifica’s prom, in which only around 80 kids attended. The night started out with pre prom at a fellow Samohi students house. Over 100 seniors attended with their dates and camera-toting parents. Champagne was openly served to everyone, even minors, over the two hours of socializing and picture taking. I was overwhelmed. My boyfriend is rather popular amongst his peers so I found myself often being dragged along by his side while I smiled with my mouth shut and pretended I cared about the conversations he was having with people who were complete strangers to me. So. Much. Fun. After the event winded down, students who had rsvp’d for a specific after prom in the Hollywood Hills were carried off in two large buses to the prom, at which we stayed for only an hour and a half.
The prom itself was nice, held at the Beverly Hilton, it was glamorously decorated and filled wall to wall with students. The dancing was more of a mosh pit considering most of the student body crowded on the dance floor jumping and shoving and singing. It wasn’t hard to part with. The food was just average, a strange assortment of both chinese and mexican food. My stomach and I both questioned such a coalition. The prom itself was enjoyable and more exciting than Pacifica, having a bigger variety of people to converse with, and much better music to listen to, but again, it was nothing miraculous.
I would like to just encourage people to find joy and excitement in everyday life, or for those of us in school, find it on the weekends. The promise that prom will be the greatest night ever is an empty one. Don’t expect the world to change in one night, but have fun and enjoy the music, the people, and in some cases, the food. Treat prom like every other outing and you will have a blast.