Stressed junior rants about prom struggles

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed about my big day … prom. Limos, gorgeous dresses and the perfect date. Of course, I would need the perfect promposal that involved my date skydiving from a plane with flowers and a sign to surprise me with some cliche like “I’m falling for you at … prom?” My dress, of course, would be a custom Sheri Hill that was made only from pure silk and two carat diamonds costing a low price of $2,000. On the night, we would only ride in the highest quality of transportation — a chauffeured Hummer stretch limo. For our photos we would hire two professional photographers, just in case one of their photos weren’t up to snuff. Our limo would then take us to the most popular restaurant in town where we made our reservation a year in advance.

That is what I feel like prom has come to sometimes these days. It often becomes more stressful to plan than it should be. The responsibility of planning is often shoved on to one poor person who will do their best to organize things, only to be criticized and constantly asked to change them. That is if you can get any semblance of a plan at all. With some groups, the fighting about what to do and where to go can overshadow the point of the night: to have fun. One of my friend’s groups fought so much about a limo, they booked it too late and now have to pay $100 a piece, just for a ride.

On the subject of money, the night is insanely expensive. I often defend this, saying it’s the one nice night you have a year, but let’s break it down. For the ladies, a dress will cost between $70 to $500, depending on what you want. For guys, a tux rental will average around $150. Hair and makeup will cost $100, and if you chose to get your nails done, it’s another $30. A corsage will cost around $35, and a boutineer $15. If you rent a limo, depending on your group size, it’s another $50 per person. Dinner at a nice restaurant will average $40 a meal. A ticket to the dance will take another $60. Now, if that’s all you do — for a girl the total is $495 (saying $200 for a dress) and for boys $315, all for one night.

Not only are these things expensive, they are often hard to find or decide upon. Girls can spend weeks looking for the perfect dress and still not be happy. For a restaurant, reservations need to be made weeks in advance if you are going somewhere popular on such a busy night. Also, restaurant reservations require the entire group to agree on one specific place.

Now let’s discuss groups. Big or small, they almost all have drama. First, who do you include in your group? Which friends are deemed close enough to deserve a VIP ticket to your squad? Do those friends get plus ones? And if you do have a date, whose friend group do you go with? Maybe you get all those problems solved. You’ve made a reservation and think plans are finally solidified, just for one friend to decide they want to add two people to the group. Or even a friend to leave the group in some dramatic fight.

All that said, it can truly be a fun night. I encourage all to find a good group and not stress too much about planning. Enjoy the the night with your friends or date. If you can’t spend so much money, there are plenty of ways to get around those extreme costs —  dinner at a less fancy restaurant, a dress from a thrift store and skipping the limo instead for your own car.