Prom

Ethan Lee Sports Editor When ticket prices dropped to $90 from $110 this year, the theatre was filled with whoops and shouts of approval. Latin School students were happy for some financial relief with the already mounting pressure of prom. Finally, on May 14, 2011 at approximately 8:00PM, one of the glitziest, most beautiful, and insanely expensive events at Latin was finally held at the Intercontinental Hotel. It was an evening where “boys rocked tuxes and felt like James Bond, and the ladies looked stunning,” comments senior, Andrew Crown. Yet, by attending prom and after paying such an expensive fee, what exactly do we get in return? After meeting with friends and teachers, the only thing given in return is a fruit salad, a burger, and some dessert. Did we really pay such a posh fee for a meager burger? No, if that was the case, prom could have been held at McDonald’s. Imagine that: a procession of limos transcending down North Boulevard to attend a rapturous evening at the golden arches. If it was a gathering and meal we wanted, why does the location matter? Prom, according to senior Joe Bucciero, is “more than just a dance. It’s a way of life, and this year it turned out to be a pretty rockin’ way of life.” But, let’s think back about why prom even started and why it matters so much to teenagers across the country. When most kids are asked who they want to be like when they are older, many respond by saying a princess or a king. Such innocent desires become permanently lodged in our brains as the media portrays events such as Prince William’s and Catherine Middleton’s royal wedding as a dream come true. In high school, teenagers between sixteen and eighteen years of age can have their dreams fulfilled at one of the biggest social events on the school calendar: prom. Although prom seems like an amazing event at a first glance, is it really worth it when you start to live through all its ups and downs? Prom may be one person’s dream true, but it can also turn into another’s nightmare. At one of the most awaited events of the year, students dress in expensive attire and mingle amongst themselves, occasionally taking a few pictures here and there. When you think about it, nothing really gets accomplished at prom. It appears to be that prom, despite all the “fun and happiness”, is essentially one superficial night where students can live an empty, vain, and unproductive lifestyle. Moreover, imitating royalty for a night has some dire consequences. Prom ultimately creates seclusion and drama within the high school environment. After returning from spring break and finishing AP exams, students adapt a more “beast-like” mindset. It’s almost as if each student engages in a race for securing dates. Competitiveness, animosity and suspense fill every classroom and every hallway. A beautiful princess cannot go to prom with a beast, and a knight in shining armor cannot go with a witch. Certain people are just off limits for dates. As horrible as it sounds, these thoughts plague every decision. They may not be so blatantly obvious to people, but there is no denying that this sort of mindset is prevalent subconsciously. And, as prom nears, the “race” begins. Deals are struck and tears are even shed. Everybody wants to go to prom with prince charming. But what if you just can’t find a date? Do you go to prom by yourself? Does it make you a loser? When you think about it, perhaps if we just stopped making it such a big deal, then a lot of the tension around prom would go down. Director of the upper school Ted Graf thinks that “we spend far too much time worrying and thinking about prom and that it becomes very distracting for some students. [He] wish[es] there [was] a way to establish more balance and fewer distractions.” Though his reasoning can be said to be academically based, Graf’s comment also addresses the importance of not focusing on prom too much. Just enjoy it. The more we worry, the more tense and exclusive it becomes. Even if you’re not invited to a certain pre or post-prom, students should focus on the importance of friendship, not who you are going with. Prom should be a gathering to celebrate the end of the year. Despite all the prama and money, many Latin students felt that prom was a great time, anyway. Junior Kate Bowker believes that “prom is exciting [just] because it’s something you can look forward to all through school.” It’s heartening to remember that through all the stress and problems that arise with prom, some people still find ways to be princes and princesses while keeping things together.]]>