I don’t know what it’s like to go to prom. Personally, I’m more comfortable with that; the thought of having to buy a dress is already daunting enough. For the past four years, there is that one month in the year when my friends from other schools or other countries uploading their prom photos. I’m almost sure that I’ve spotted this odd pattern: the first twenty photos are of Person X with his or her date at multiple angles; the next two hundred and something photos are of the actual prom with Person X and his or her friends at dining tables or photo booths, most of which are without their dates for some reason or another. It’s only through these photos (and through conversations with these friends) that I can get a questionably accurate picture of what the prom experience is like.
I guess this is what happens when you’re a perfectly normal high schooler in a developed country…but never been to prom or anything of the sort. It’s not really a matter of “I’ve never wanted to go to prom” or the like; instead, my school never had it. Perhaps the closest I’ll ever come to prom is the graduation dinner we’re organising in about a month, but it’s no dates, no slow dancing, no…corsages or whatever they’re called.
Prom has always been a completely foreign concept to me. I’ve never really understood what’s so ‘stressful’ about it, especially when some of my male friends tell me that they’re not sure if they should be asking their close female friends to be their ‘prom dates’ and whatnot. To get a better idea of how unfamiliar I am with prom, I’ve never seen anyone use the word ‘corsage’ before until last Tuesday. For a long time and even until today, I just feel like there are countless factors about prom that constitute to its ‘etiquette’ so to speak. To this day, I’ve never been exposed to an actual prom, which isn’t necessarily something that’s supposed to bother me because I don’t think I’d ever want to have that experience anyway. That being said, there are certain things that I’ve never formally participated in (not by will), so to speak. Prom is just one of these things and it has apparently become so important in a high schooler’s life other than my own. I don’t know what to say about it, other than the fact that it simply feels weird sometimes.
It feels weird, only because I feel like many of my friends whose school’s have prom treat the lack of prom at my school to be the sole factor that’s essentially making me miss out the “high school experience” in its entirety. I don’t think that’s how I’m supposed to feel because I do think that I’ve lived my high school life to its fullest, but that’s a different story. Overall, it feels like not going to prom is “wrong” or just “not normal” for a high schooler. Is it?
At the end of the day, what exactly is it about the “high school experience” that makes it what it is? Based on the responses I’ve been getting from those in my generation, I almost feel like it’s just about having fun that our school “isn’t granting us,” which doesn’t sound fair to me. Maybe that’s just my seven year-old perception that high school should be something along the lines of The Breakfast Club and…my now twenty-year old’s friends experiences with A-Levels, I suppose. In other words, I’ve always thought of it to be study, make friends, study, make friends, and prom doesn’t have to matter. Is it only because we only treasure the fun and not the studies now, or is everyone else making a huge, unnecessary deal about prom? These are the thoughts coming from me, the normal high school senior in a developed country who has never idea what prom is. I can only say that it makes me question the value of my high school life based on the perceptions of others, insofar as mine don’t count anymore…oh well.
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