Is prom for everyone?


Chloe Mensch

DRESSING UP. Purchasing outfits and accessories for prom can become costly, especially when combined with other expenses, such dinner and after prom activities. Many people spend hours perfecting their look for the night.  

   With prom just a few days away, it seems as though everyone is anxiously awaiting the fun- filled night they have been obsessing over for weeks. However, several reasons have revealed how prom isn’t for everyone, which is why I opted out this year.

   Maybe the most obvious reservation I have towards prom is the price. Many people have opted for the full experience, thus spending money on the prom ticket itself, an after prom ticket, dinner at a nice restaurant, and their attire.

   Prom tickets themselves are $35, which isn’t really a problem. Yet if you combine that with an after prom ticket at $25, dinner, and a dress with accessories, that can easily climb to over $150, and you are spending quite a lot on one night that may not even turn out well.

  Not to mention the optional money that, especially girls, spend on hair, nails, makeup, and any other last minute modifications.

  In my experience, I always feel as though how everyone looks is a competition rather than an opportunity to feel beautiful- who has the prettiest, most expensive dress? Whose hair looks the nicest?

  But even if prom was free and there was no competition in the air that creates nervousness, the social aspect alone of prom gives me plenty of anxiety.

  It seems like a presumption that we should all be able to spend hours enclosed in a loud room with hundreds of other teenagers jumping around, but for some this scene is overwhelming (and the music isn’t even that good!) To me, this feels more like a nightmare than a place to let loose.

  Then there’s the stigma surrounding prom. The actual dance itself is a big deal, but what happens before and after are just as major.

  I get nervous around big groups so huge dinners are definitely not my cup of tea, and if you’re not much of a social butterfly or don’t want to get up to anything crazy after the dance, prom is even less appealing.

  Lastly, there’s the exclusivity of groups and dates that feels quite suffocating. Prom seems more and more about who you go with and who your friends are rather than dancing the night away and dressing up.  

  There’s an expectation that you have to go, that prom is the ultimate high school experience, and you’re missing out if you don’t. However there are many factors that go into choosing whether to go- and who knows? Maybe I’ll stop by prom next year.

  Of course, it’s important to stay considerate towards everyone’s choices. I am by no means trying to discourage anyone from having the time of their lives, but rather to offer another perspective and to emphasize that we should all make the individual choices that are right for us.

  So if you’re headed to prom this weekend, have fun! And if you’re staying home with some friends or spending time with your family, that’s perfectly okay too.