A night to remember?

Sofia D'Angelo '22, Lily Bertles '22, and Morgan Tracy '22

Prom: a night to remember for the rest of your life. Movies and TV shows love to romanticize prom; it’s marketed as one of the most important nights of our adolescence, but is it really all it's cracked up to be? We got in touch with students and faculty to get the low-down on all things prom: from dates to dresses, what makes prom, prom? 


A survey sent out to all juniors and seniors before prom collected a total of 54 responses (34 seniors and 20 juniors). 51of the survey takers responded that they are planning to go to prom. 33 students said they are going to bring a date, however when asked if it is important to bring a date, many emphasized that it does not make or break your night. 


One student wrote, “Going to dances has become more (to me) about spending time with friends and classmates outside of the classroom setting. Sure a date would be nice to have for prom, but it’s ok if I don’t have one” 


Another wrote, “Prom shouldn't exclusively be about bringing a date to a school dance lol, it should be about building the community.” 


Some, however, contradicted this opinion and expressed that bringing a date is a part of Prom’s culture. A different student wrote, “I think it’s ‘prom culture’ to bring a date or go in a large group. People rarely go on their own.” Overall, whether you bring a date or not, is totally up to you and does not determine how much fun you’ll have. 


Why is it a tradition for juniors to wear short dresses? Do the upperclassmen appreciate this uniquely Saints tradition? When asked these questions, 72 percent of the respondents claimed they do not dislike the tradition of juniors wearing short dresses. Some students explained that juniors wear short dresses to emphasize the seniority of the 12th graders. 


One student wrote, “I think it allows seniors to showcase their long dresses and have a special senior moment.” 


Another wrote, “Because seniors are the seniors, and the juniors shouldn't be wearing dresses that match elegance and fanciness as the seniors.” Many of the answers followed along these lines. 


When asked the same question to a junior they responded “I honestly don’t know. When I first heard about this, I was taken aback. I think that most people expect everyone in long dresses regardless of class, but I don’t know why this is a thing. Perhaps it’s because the seniors don't want their shine to be stolen by juniors because it is their last prom, and I would feel the same as a senior, no doubt, but the “rule” is still a little weird if I’m being honest.”


Another frequent question is whether or not prom is really like it’s portrayed in movies and TV shows. On-screen, prom is portrayed as one of the most important and special nights of high school, but is that really the case?  


A junior said “I think that in the past, the school dances haven’t been what I expected, and I’ve been disappointed with them. I think that in the back of my mind I have to keep an open mind for prom, but past experiences are making me feel like dances just aren’t what I thought they would be.” 


Many of the student body has not been thrilled with past dances such as Homecoming, Winter Formal, and now prom. This same Junior also wrote, “I think that it’s a time when young people get to feel special. I think that growing up we hear/see stories of people getting all fancied up for this “one special event of your life.” I think that everyone is living in the moment which is why it makes prom so special.” 


Lastly, we asked our survey respondents if they planned on showing up to prom under the influence of any substances, and a whopping 34.6% of the 54 respondents responded that they do. When asked why many students replied that substances add to the fun. The students who replied “no” believe “you don't need to drink to have fun.” A few students think that as long as you behave yourself, being under the influence of substances should be fine. 


This year’s prom theme was Alice in Wonderland and according to a Junior “people are excited about the theme.”  The Prom Committee, made up of mainly senior girls, came up with a concept for the theme and began working on small projects to pull it all together.  After lots of hard work, the look included large green bushes with huge playing cards placed in front of them. There were loveseats and high-top tables where cute “drink me!” mocktails were placed. The DJ was centered at one end of the large room mainly playing remixes of songs. The lighting was dim but had some white spotlights shining towards the ceiling. According to a follow-up survey sent out to the upperclassmen, many students thought the decor did not represent the theme well. 


One student shared, “Cute theme, not executed well though. They could’ve done a lot more to lean into it.” 


Mrs. Sandoval is the faculty head of the prom committee. She is tasked with pulling the prom together whilst staying within the budget, which largely comes from the cost of the prom tickets. When asked why she took up this role, she said that after former health teacher and prom committee head, Mrs. Bays, left, Mr. Mallett, put out a call for someone else to take over. She continued, saying: “Nobody was doing it. And then I was sort of afraid to be honest, that he was going to ask someone who didn't really want to do it or who didn't really have a good pulse on the kids. And I felt like since I do yearbook, it was kind of similar. And side note, I kind of always would have loved to have been like an event planner. So then I reached out.”


 Ms. Nadler, the associate dean of students, is required to come to the majority of the school dances. We reached out to get her to take on prom as a chaperone. Ms. Nadler starts, “It was lovely. I thought that the music was good. Everybody looked amazing. It was so fun to see everyone having a good time. Last year, it was just the seniors and that was special in its own way, but I love getting to see the juniors and the seniors together.” Ms. Nadler was able to expand on the rotation of teachers for each school dance, “You're expected to chaperone one dance every couple of years and you'll do either [the] early or late [shift].” Lastly, Ms. Nadler closed up her interview adding, “It's fun in the way that… I've watched the seniors looking forward to this for so long.”


The Voice followed up after prom and sent one last survey out to the upperclassmen. With 28 total responses, 26 students went to the dance, while 2 students did not attend. Surprisingly only 1 out of these 28 students saw someone wearing the same dress as them. 60% of the upperclassmen who responded went to prom under the influence of substances, and the remaining 40% didn’t. 


One of the most shocking responses from this survey was the number of people who disliked the music. Some said, “It was lame and wayyy too loud. I hate dances though, so maybe it was good for others. Not my vibe.” 


The average rating of prom from these 28 students on a scale from 1 being bad to 10 being amazing, was a 7. The last question we asked was, “ Is prom better or worse than what you expected?” Almost everyone had the same opinion when they said: “Worse, it was hyped up a lot but didn’t live up to the hype. Felt like another winfo in a different place” and “way way worse you couldn't talk to anyone the music was way too loud and honestly I wouldn't go again it was too much money for way too little.”


In short, prom, the notoriously magical night, might not be what everyone expects it to be. The night is what you make of it! Maybe the anticipation and preparations are the most exciting part. No matter what, attending prom is a right of passage for upperclassmen.