This article goes out to all the underclassmen (and some seniors) who haven’t attended a high school Prom yet. Honestly, no one really knows what happens until they actually experience it. I remember last year as a junior I would constantly bother my senior friends begging them to tell me what to expect.
Because I have quite the anxious personality, I was freaking myself out and my mind polluted with frantic questions: How do the buses work? How do I know what bus to go on? Will I be with my friends on the bus? I had a weird fear of buses as a child and it still haunts me. What if I get separated from my friends? What if I trip? What if my dress falls off? What if this happens to that? Or if that happens to this? Clearly I brought on a huge amount of anxiety which was just unnecessary. Once I arrived at Prom I realized that I psyched myself out for no reason, but I couldn’t help myself Prom, in the eyes of the underclassmen, seems like the biggest deal. Everything has to be perfect: you, your hair, your makeup, your dress and your date. This is precisely why I am writing this, to help the underclassmen understand what Prom is and just exactly how to survive it. Hopefully this will calm unknown nerves. Prom may seem like this huge thing, but overall, you just need to relax and realize it’s not a big deal. So please enjoy the below list on tips and advice to trying to survive prom.
- Prom is overrated. It’s this huge built up night in movies, books, TV, and social media. It is talked up to the extreme. It’s supposed to be a perfect night, a night to remember, a night in the clouds, the best night of your whole high school experience. In reality, though, it’s just a night. I mean YOHSO (you only high school once). Honestly, at the end of the day you only regret the things you didn’t do. So my point is go to Prom even though it’s overrated and kinda lame. Make some memories and have some fun! What do you have to lose?
- Own the runway. For most people the red carpet is a scary thought. All eyes on you, all cameras on you. Don’t trip. Don’t fall. Don’t forget to smile. As you overthink all the possibilities that could go wrong you miss your chance to enjoy your 10 seconds of fame. So get out of your own head and be present in the moment. Look around at all the people cheering and clapping for you. Be confident and be a queen. Own it, girl. You’re beautiful!
- The bus is a calm, safe place. As known from the intro of this article, the buses gave me a huge amount of anxiety. One of the deans will tell you which bus you’ll be going on and which way to turn on the red carpet before walking out. Every bus is packed with kids talking and screaming and laughing. The table of people you are sitting with for dinner will be on your bus and tables near you will also be on your bus. Last year I wasn’t too close with my prom date but once I got on the bus I saw several familiar faces and felt comfortable. Plus, since prom is at O’Hare this year, it’s a only 25 minute drive.
- Boys don’t understand how difficult it is to walk in heels. They tend to rush down the red carpet dragging you along with them. They most likely want to get off the red carpet as fast as they can. Every year at least one person falls down the runway. If this happens to you DON’T PANIC! I repeat, do not panic. Just stand up, laugh it off, and keep walking with your head held high. The crowd will cheer you on even louder than before. So boys, if you’re reading this please be conscious of your date if she’s wearing heels. Or you can take off your heels right before you take on the runway.
- Accidental dress twinning is not social suicide. There are only so many shops and online websites girls from LF look at. Don’t be thrown off if you get to the school and run into someone with the same exact dress. You both are rocking the dress and it’ll be too late to change outfits. Laugh it off and stay confident.
- Prepare to sweat. If you don’t break a sweat on the dance floor (which you will unless you don’t dance) then you ‘prommed’ wrong. Only a fourth of the night is eating and the rest is dancing.
- Friends are what makes Prom fun. If you were set up with a random date that you barely know, don’t freak yourself out. You’ll be with your friends most of the night. The only time you will be one on one with your date is when you walk down the runway but still you’re surrounded by several people. True friends are the people you can let loose with and have a crazy fun time with.
- You’re beautiful just the way you are. I know in Lake Forest everyone has their scheduled hair, waxing, makeup, and nail appointments, but honestly, no one really needs any of that. It is not at all a requirement to get a blow out or get your makeup professionally done. Do whatever you want. Trust me–you’ll look pretty no matter what. It’s all about having self confidence and being able to see your own true beauty before getting anyone else’s opinion.
- Sleep on the bus ride home. You’ll be absolutely burnt out from dancing 2 hours straight. Most buses will be pretty silent. Take this time to recollect yourself and dry off the sweat. Close your eyes. There’s no harm in getting a little rest.
- Expect to stand for a long time. When you first arrive at the high school, they line you up through the halls as you wait to go out onto the red carpet. You move an inch every minute and you are tightly packed like sardines. Mentally prepare yourself because your feet will ache and you’ll grow impatient. But like I said before, friends make everything better. They will help make the time past a little bit faster.
- Don’t be stupid. Since this is the school paper and I respect The Forest Scout, I won’t be specific. But if you choose to make stupid decisions before coming to Prom, don’t bother coming. There is a huge risk of getting in trouble and honestly it’s not worth it at all. You can’t depend on certain things to make you have a good time. Learn to always have fun in every situation. That’s what I have learned to do: Every situation can be fun if you look at it positively.
- Watch where you’re dancing. The seniors and juniors (and some underclassmen) are a lot of kids and the dance floor is only so big. I can’t tell you how many times I went too hard core when I was dancing last year and whacked someone’s face or slammed into the person next to me. I remember my friend, Jane, and I wanted to be the first ones on the dance floor. We wanted to do our signature move we always do: The famous lift from Dirty Dancing. As I ran towards my friend ready to leap into her arms a girl ran in front of me out of nowhere. The momentum from my running slammed the girl to the ground. So be extremely cautious but still dance the way you would like; just be careful where you throw your arms and body.
- Dance like nobody’s watching. Don’t be scared to let loose on the dance floor. Get your freak on and show those moves you do when you think no one is watching. It’s way more fun than just awkwardly swaying your hips and hopping up and down.