Thoughts on 2018 Prom

By Ella Ilg, Staff Writer

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I was definitely anxious the afternoon of prom. I was under the impression at that point that juniors weren’t supposed to attend prom, given the amount of “you’re going to prom? Aren’t you a junior?” questions I was receiving. I also mistakenly thought that juniors weren’t allowed to wear long gowns and that we were supposed to wear short dresses. Once again, this was not the case. Walking into the lobby of the school, I already had a lot of false expectations. I saw a bunch of my friends who were juniors and they were all wearing long gowns, so I certainly felt like an outsider.

The line for check in went surprisingly quick and we were on the bus by 5:40, but unfortunately, we didn’t leave until 6:10. There were certainly many students that interpreted Ms. Odell’s email of “do not show up later than 5:45” as “show up by 6:20,” so there was a significant delay. I wasn’t upset, as this was clearly not the fault of the organizers. The traffic on the way to Joe’s Live was light, and we arrived pretty quickly. The coach bus was comfortable, so I had a hard time trying not to nap.

Joe’s Live was a gorgeous venue. They were able to pack endless amounts of tables downstairs, upstairs, and in the side rooms. I was lucky enough to be sitting with a group that had a side room table. It certainly felt exclusive…so exclusive that they forgot to call our table number for food. We arrived at around 7 pm, and we did not start eating until 8:30 pm, after one of the security guards felt bad for us and said we could go get food.

The buffet style was probably not the best idea. I’m sure it cut costs, which kept ticket prices as low as possible, but I think it would’ve been much more efficient to order and have our food served to us. The lines for food got crazy long and they kept running out of food by the time we finally got to the front of the line. The lemonade and limeade mocktails were a nice touch, though. Despite the wait, the food was very good. From waffle fries, chicken poppers, and grilled veggies for appetizers, to the pulled pork and penne pasta entrees, all the food was pretty good, with the exception of the mac and cheese, which was pretty watery and flavorless.

After scarfing down food and reapplying my lipstick, the music had already started, and I went down the stairs to the dance floor. I stayed a wallflower for awhile, but I wasn’t miserable like I was at homecoming. I would describe the dance portion as “homecoming with good music.” The DJ played a plentiful amount of throwbacks, like Don’t Stop Believing, Every Time We Touch and a good amount of Ke$ha in her prime. Another entertaining factor was the DJ played a lot of meme music too, like Darude Sandstorm, Hey Ya, and closing out the night with All Star by Smash Mouth.

People were having so much fun and it was entertaining to just watch from the sidelines. There was definite evidence of pre-gaming, as the quiet girls I remember from freshmen year biology were screaming at the start of any song they recognized, and kids who I’ve shared a handful of sentences with demanded that we take a picture together. I definitely appreciated the fact that we took coach buses there, since picturing some of these kids attempting to drive home was a scary thought.

Towards the tail end of the night, prom king and queen were announced, and the royal couple was Emily Duong and Wesam Aljupoor. They let them have their royal dance with their respective dates. I definitely didn’t want to witness a jealous fight break out on the dance floor. The rest of the prom court seemed disappointed, but no grabs for the crown or violent revolutions occurred (thankfully).

The night closed out with a few more songs, root beer floats, mini peanut butter chocolate cakes, cookies and parfaits. As the last song ended and the place quieted down, it became a mad dash for everyone to grab their jackets and purses. I was able to get on the second bus and get back to school, and even though I ended the night with a smile on my face, I was thoroughly exhausted.

Prom was overall a far more pleasant experience than I expected. I was panicking the whole week before that I wouldn’t have enough time during the day or that I would mess up my makeup. None of those things happened, and I really did enjoy myself and I felt like a princess, like how you’re supposed to feel during prom. It was great to see all these students I’ve grown up with look gorgeous or handsome and have a lot of fun. There was no cliques at this prom or exclusivity. The jocks, nerds, theatre kids and goths were all having a great time and going all out, and it was such a wonderful, inclusive thing to experience.

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