Underclassmen Already Feel Pressure to Live Up to Prom Expectations

Prom, a high school tradition that has been going on for generations and a highly idealized social event for upperclassmen. With the increasing appearance and allure of prom at Dripping Springs High School, there is impact on the underclassmen, specifically their opinions on prom.  

The media today is highly influential on teenagers, whether it is representation in movies or from Instagram influencers, the media can distort ideals in teenagers everyday lives, and prom is not exception.

“[Prom is] over hyped, because it is just a diversion for older students to make out and do drugs. [Also] everybody says you need to go to it once,  but there is really nothing different about it every year besides the theme, but the theme really is just boring,” freshman Madden Maxwell said.

Although the media plays a large part in altering the advertising towards prom for teens, so do the communities around them, such as the school community.

“Some years it’s more hyped than other years,” freshman Daisy McComas said. “This year, I feel like it was a little bit under hyped, just because I have not really heard as many people get super excited about prom or talk about it a lot.”

To certain students, prom is seen as one last act, and a last thing to do with your friends before your high school career is over.

“It is kind of like you usually go your last year, junior or senior year, as a last hurrah before you go off to college, and like everyone leaves, but I think it is a little played up too much,” freshman Rose Brysch said.

Prom is usually associated with spending lots of money; this can be problematic for students and their families seeing that students can spend hundreds of dollars on a single dance.

“I am not the richest person in the world, and [my family] lives paycheck to paycheck,” freshman Arwen Kubicek said. “So it is going to be a struggle, which it shouldn’t be, but for some people it might be a struggle, and I think it would be better with a payment plan, or that they would tell you how much it costs at the beginning of the year, so then there is time for you to get the money for it.”

Seeing that prom has been around forfro such a long time, some newly introduced aspects may not be accepted right away, such as gay couples, especially in a conservative state like Texas.

“The first thing that comes to mind is people like gay couples going, and people being like ‘Ugh, what are you doing?’ and that kind of stuff,” freshman Ben Muscanere said. “That’s probably mine [regarding the worst thing about prom], but I don’t really know if that happens here.”

Once again, traditions are a large part of prom, and these traditions and ideals of prom can be passed down from parent to student.

“[Pressure from] parents, I know that’s a big thing, because personally with me I want to go, but some of my friends are like, ‘Yeah, my mom is making me go to prom’, and other people are like, ‘You’re not going to prom? You’re such a loser’,” Kubicek said. “It’s just the fear of being a loser, I guess, and your parents being mad at you,”

Stereotypes also arise when it comes to prom, whether placed there by media or association, they can also have a negative affect on how students perceive prom.  

“It’s just people dressing up nicely for them to just go home and get it done. It just seems like another event you do not need to go to,” Maxwell said.

Though there are many misconceptions about prom, the idea of spending time with friends before graduation seems to trump them all.

“I think, it is just spending time with friends,”  Kubicek said. “I love spending time with my friends and I think just spending time with friends, and taking pictures, and making memories that you won’t be able to have in college.”

Written by Isabella Roske

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