Prom: an iconic high school experience

by Maddie Fahlbusch
Ramstein High School

It’s that time again — that special night where the perfect dress makes a good evening fantastic and where limos are not just for celebrities. Ladies and gentlemen, prom is upon us!

Prom only lasts for a few hours but it is an iconic high school experience. Why else would countless movies about high schoolers include prom scenes that are, in some cases, the most dramatic or memorable parts? Those who saw “Mean Girls,” “10 Things I Hate About You” or “Pretty in Pink” know exactly what I mean.

Ever wonder where this rite of passage originated and how it became what it is today? First, the word “prom” is short for the word “promenade,” which means a formal pageantry or party. Schools organized them so middle-class children could partake in a debutante ball-like experience.

Ironically, having an annual prom originated in colleges and gradually high schools followed suit by organizing their own. Historians estimate that the first college proms occurred in the late 1800s and the original high school proms somewhere around the 1930s.

The cool part about prom is that it is both a timeless tradition as well as a force that evolves with the ages. One aspect, however, is always the same: it is a night meant for decadence. In the last 10 years, it is not uncommon for girls to spend at least $200 on just their dress alone. If you account for limo rentals, shoes, accessories and hair appointments, the cost climbs even higher. Prom is one of the most magical nights for a teenage girl but it is one of the most expensive for parents.

For those attending their prom in the next few weeks, enjoy it. Embrace it. It’s a time meant for celebration that you made it through another year, or for seniors, your last year. Live it up with the people who you have been forced to spend the past 10 months with and have an unforgettable night. Dance like a crazy person. Feel like James Bond in your tux or a beauty queen in your dress. Do the “Cupid Shuffle” like a pro because the DJ will undoubtedly play it. Create some awesome memories and make this special night yours.