Be You, But Better: The Prom Edition

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Be You, But Better: The Prom Edition

Alaina Africano, Staff Writer

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The day all juniors and seniors have been waiting for has finally arrived. Prom! This exciting annual event is one of the oldest and most time honored traditions associated with high school culture. Along with tradition, extras like promposals and spirit week have worked their way into prom culture. Although this can be (and usually is) an exciting milestone, the respect and class typically associated with this event has been lost through the course of time.

After researching a little bit, it turns out  prom had a very humble beginning. It evolved from a simple tea dance, to a class banquet, and finally into the spectacular and sometimes overwhelming dance we are familiar with today. Prom also served as debutant ball or could even be an engagement announcement for couples. Thankfully, this tradition has fallen to the wayside, but going with a date has not. Guys and girls of this era stress over matching dresses, buying corsages, and arranging transportation. Admittedly, matching is important. Hopefully all of you planning on going with a date have already purchased the necessary matching ties and dresses. If not, then I hate to tell you, it may be a little too late to make that happen. However, in the chaos of preparation, do not forget the reason you have a date. You have a date, hopefully, because you like the person you’re going with. Each party deserves to be treated with respect and should feel comfortable throughout the night. The reputation of prom depends on you and your actions. If you hate the stereotypes, be the person that starts the change. Not only will this benefit you and your date but it could influence and impact future generations.

Along with respecting your date, respecting yourself and making good decisions is essential when it comes time for prom. Drinking and driving is notorious for happening after, or in some cases, before prom. Statistics show that 54% of teens have more than four drinks on prom night. This shocking statistic is one of many that comes up when Googling “drinking and driving after prom”. Other startling statistics concerning drugs, date rape, and even death also appear in multiple articles about prom. Another thing to keep in mind, a prom ticket is not a contract. You do not owe your date anything and you are not obligated to continue to go out with or see your date. Prom was meant to be a celebration and was designed to commemorate seniors who are preparing for the next chapter in their lives, not as a celebration of inappropriate and unnecessary behavior.

I want to keep this message short and sweet; be respectful. Respect prom, respect your date, and most importantly respect yourself. Don’t allow yourself to forget these things while you’re focused on all the little things. Above all enjoy prom and be you, but better.

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