Is Prom Worth it?

Is Prom Worth it?

Every American high school student knows what Prom is. You spend an excessive amount of money on an outfit, more money buying a ticket, hours of time doing your hair and/or makeup, all so you can attend a dance in the same school you’ve spent the last four years in. Of course, it’s an essential teenage experience. You’ll have tons of fun dancing with your friends or significant other, and the party may continue well into the night. However, it does raise the question: Is Prom actually worth it?

How did Prom start?

Let’s start with the basics. Where did Prom even come from? You might be surprised to know that they first popped up in the Northeast way back in the late 1800s. At first, they were only for college students and were usually a very sophisticated event; students would dress in their “Sunday best” and gather for tea and socializing. Parents thought that they would be an effective method to instill social etiquette in teenagers, and so they soon started to spread to high schools. At first, they were only for the richest and intelligent of students, but by the 1930s they were being held nationwide. In the 50s, as America’s economy recovered post-war, these events gradually began to move out of school gyms and into fancier venues. 

What is Prom like today?

We know how they started. But modern Proms are vastly different from their origins in the 1800s. People may spend weeks, months, or even years picking out the perfect outfit and spending as much money as they need to. Promposals have gained a lot of traction, a way to ask your date to prom that may be simple and lowkey or cost hundreds of dollars. Schools may choose to rent out a large, lavish space and justify it by charging anywhere from $20-$250 per ticket. It’s certainly come a long way from its humble origins. 

How Media Affects Prom

Modern prom has turned into something of a fantasy for younger students. They dream of the perfect day, wearing the perfect dress or suit, dancing with the perfect partner to perfect music. Romance movies set in high school tend to serve as an advertisement for prom, and this can give viewers high expectations of what their own prom will look like. It’s sad to say that many students find themselves disappointed when the night is over. 

Many movies seem to showcase Prom as the place for drama and major life events. The shy girl gets her first kiss, the amateur band plays and gets a record deal, the mean girl gets humiliated in front of everyone, etc. In reality, Prom tends to be an expensive night where you can dress up, dance with the people you like, and then go to a dinner or a party afterward.

Having reviewed the basics of the event, we return to the question at hand.

Is Prom Worth It?

The answer? It depends.

I know, that’s a lame answer. But Prom is an event created for a specific type of audience. It’s for the students who have a partner or friends that they want to have a good time with, and have the budget to go all out. Or it can even be for the students who don’t have anyone to go with and decide to wear more casual clothes, but who want to socialize and dance to good music. 

After all, Prom is an essential teenage experience. There’s no shame in wanting to have some fun. So buy that extremely overpriced dress that you’ll never wear again because you’ll look great in it. Spend all the time you want planning an extravagant Promposal because they will appreciate it.

Or you can stay at home and have your own Prom with your friends! Play a few board games, watch a movie, go for a drive.

Prom is whatever you want it to be. Enjoy it!