10 Reasons Why Prom Sucks

Learning | August 8, 2016

The prom. No two words in the High School lexicon conjure up more fear, more trepidation, more anxiety. More than finals, more than report cards, and certainly more than graduating. But when you stop and think about it, prom actually kinda sucks. And here’s why:

#1. The prom dress.

It’s the ultimate case of “keeping up with the Joneses.” While you’ve probably experienced an unfair amount of competition throughout your high-school career to be ‘on trend’ with the latest fashion, brands, music, and what-not, this will all count for nothing if you end up in a prom dress that’s not up to the standard of the self-appointed cool-kid elite. Home-made dresses are a no-no, almost as bad as a cheap dress or something (God forbid!) last season. Not that seasons matter for these types of dresses as you’re only ever going to wear it once, yet another reason to hate the whole experience.


#2. The stress of being single.

As if surviving High-School isn’t stressful enough, now you’re forced to endure the archaic custom of finding another stressed out student to conform to rigid and cumbersome social norms and be your prom date. Cue the image of hundreds of anxious guys plucking up the courage to ask a similar number of nervous girls, the terror of rejection overtaken by the fear of being ‘alone’ or dateless on prom night. And let’s not even get started on the whole new level of brain-frying angst awaiting the poor LGBT students. To utilise a piece of anachronistic technology to further the analogy, the whole process is about as relevant to modern society as a delete button on a typewriter, and just as useful!



#3. Prepare to be broke.

After the cost of the suit or dress, corsage or boutonnière, the tickets to actually attend, you’d think that would be enough to leave a decent sized dent in your wallet (or parent’s wallet!) But wait, yet more financial frets await, as unless you want to be thrown to the bottom of the social food-chain, prepare to turn up in a limo or a party bus. Both options can seem cool… for about five minutes. That’s how long it takes for reality to sink in. Can’t afford the limo on your own? Simple, split it with six or seven of your friends. Ever tried to fit seven people PLUS their dates into one limo? Let’s hope said vehicle stretches further than your budget can!



#4. The music.

Every song must be non-offensive, and approved by the teachers beforehand. That’s right. Approved… by the teachers. Now we here at NotAlways aren’t so narrow-minded enough to think that there aren’t any young, cool, hip teachers out there (are we instantly un-hip by saying the word ‘hip’?) and we’re sure that they listen to their fare share of edgy, experimental or downright out-there music from around the ‘spotisverse.’ But they also want to keep their jobs, so instead of selecting a truly great tune with potentially questionable lyrics… nope. You get One Direction again.



#5. The party actually kind of sucks.

First there is the music (we’ll come to that), and then the realisation that you’re hanging out with teachers outside of school hours. Then you become aware of how monumentally boring the whole affair is. The single people are miserable for being single, the non-singles are miserable because they’ve had to go with someone who they didn’t want to go with (options #1, #2, and #3 were asked before you could get to them), and the teachers are miserable because they really need a drink. A real one. Which brings us too…



#6. The punch.

The most ironic name ever for a beverage that packs about as much punch as a g-rated Disney movie. This foul blend of sugar, juice, and a few dozen students’ worth of coughs and sneezes is a sad toast for surviving years of high-school.



#7. The fallouts.

High school are where friendships are forged. Prom is where they can all come crashing down in a few vitriolic minutes. The pressure of finals may have been rough, but that is but a pathetic little breeze compared to an evening that has been hyped up as the ‘one last night’ to make the most of high school. Pent-up feelings can be released all at once in a cacophonous volcano of concentrated teenage angst boiling over a perfect storm of confessions of love, rejections, umbrage, fights, bitch-fights, and tears. Like all silly little teenage spats, everything will be forgiven by the weekend, but for now, it’s the end of the world as we know it.



#8. The after party.

Because this whole thing is a big fat popularity contest, naturally you have to out-do everyone else. You need the most expensive dress, the ‘stretchiest’ stretch-limo, and you need a secure invite to the so-exclusive-that-if-you-have-to-even-ask-to-go-you’re-not-cool-enough-to-go after party. It has long been known what we have been ranting about here for eight paragraphs now, but prom sucks. To truly make it a true party, you need the after party, where adult supervision is minimal, the punch actually packs one, and debauchery can be found in every dark and sordid corner. Enter at your own risk.



#9. Prom King/Queen.

Continuing the theme of how old-fashioned this whole parade is, we come to the tradition of the Prom King and Queen. Because the cool kids don’t already have it good enough, now they’re all pitted against each other to be the most handsome, most beautiful, best-dressed, fake, posing, puddle-deep representations of their ilk. Occasionally you’ll get one of the loners or the geeks thrown in for a protest vote, ironic due to the fact that said groups don’t actually care about who is Prom King or Queen. Because it doesn’t matter!



#10. The hype.

This one has been saved for last, and for good reason. This is the single most damaging aspect to the whole outdated circus that is The Prom. This feeling that despite several years of memorable moments throughout high-school, the highs and the lows, the lessons learnt (not just inside the classroom), the maturing of your mind and body, and the friendships you’ve no doubt forged, it all comes down to this one single night. This self-perpetuating non-truth that if your prom night doesn’t change your life, then you’ve totally failed at high school. Take a breath, step back, and look at what prom really is. One silly little night, that costs too much, that means so little, that will be a tiny little blip among the entirety of your high school memories. Sure, it can be a fun night, it can even be an amazing night, but it doesn’t have to be, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with either.


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