This year, prom was held at Caine’s Ballroom on Saturday, April 6th. It was planned and made possible by the class of 2020 and their sponsor, Ms. Walker. The theme was an Enchanted Gala.
Prom. One word, big meaning. When you hear it, what do you think of? Do images of velvet dresses and pristine suits dance across your mind? Do you look at your wrist and picture a flower corsage wrapped around it? Maybe you envision yourself arm in arm with your best friend or significant other, stepping through the floral entryway and into a world where time seems to tick slower, smiles seem to glow brighter, and songs seem to play louder.
Or, maybe you’re one of those people who see themselves sitting in a corner, shifting through their phone as the music drones on, hoping that the movies got it wrong—that this isn’t the best night of your life. To you, prom is a night that washes over you and leaves you much the same as you were before. Watching those around you become completely drenched, you wonder if maybe… maybe there was something you missed. You like the music, you like getting dressed up, you like seeing your friends jumping up and down and singing off key. But, altogether, these things are an overwhelming sensation that barely gives you time to catch your breath. Feeling lost in a faceless crowd, letting the pulsating throb of people and sound pick you up and keep you suspended like a cloud. Watching everyone beneath you and wondering: Is this the night of their lives?
Prom is an experience. It is a mark of high school that one carries with them after graduation, something they reminisce about once they turn thirty. It is not the defining moment of one’s high school career. It does not have to be the most important event of one’s teenage years. In a world full of Hollywood glamorization, prom has become this generation’s pinup model, an idealization of the perfect high school life. To a young, clueless freshman it is something to dream about and anticipate over the next four years. It is a dream that takes on many guises. Something to be held in reverent awe and yet, something to be feared.
To those of you who danced at prom, sang your hearts out, and left the night laughing into the morning, I raise my glass. You found enjoyment in what should be enjoyed, happiness in a time free of worry, and memories in a year worth remembering. I admire you and your spirit of celebration. You took your dreams with you and carried them onto the dance floor. You left with a sadness that these high school days are coming to an end, a love that burned out too quickly. But, as you let go of those dreams you brought with you, new ones begin to form. Taking them by the hand, you walk forwards, searching for the next big thing that lies beyond.
To those of you who sat on the benches, hummed quietly to yourself when a song you knew began to play, and swayed gently by yourself in corner, I raise my glass as well as my heart. For in all of you, I found a secret society of people who want to experience life and all of its flaws. I found a family who understands the sanctity of trying for the sake of trying. To you, prom was a dive into deep waters. It was a badge of honor showing that you survived these past four years, made it through to the next stage in life. Now, you can kiss these years goodbye with a smile on your face because you did it. You will not look back and wish for these moments; you will think of them and grin, glad that they happened but happier still for what came after. Kudos to your intrepid self.