Most high schools hold on to the tradition of hosting a prom every year, but this popular event has changed over time. The only thing that has always remained the same is everyone's expectations. Things may have changed a lot, but it's safe to say that most of us want our want our prom to be one hell of an EPIC night!
It's important to plan ahead so that there are no surprises when the big day comes. It's the little details that could make or break your party. Among other recommendations, always make sure to know who's going to be paying for the expensive limo to take you to the prom. Make sure your makeup lasts long by locking it with loose powders and setting spray so that your selfie game is flawless. If you're a guy, don't forget to bring the corsage to put on your date, (unless you're not into that tradition!) But most importantly, keep the stress at home. This is your night and you're there to have a blast!
One of the most important things to remember when going to a prom is to treat everyone with respect and obey the rules that the school and your parents have set forth. After all, these rules are there to ensure that everyone has a good time and stays safe.
Now if you don't know what to expect on that fateful night, here are some pretty raw stories that Reddit users decided to share so you can get a realistic perspective about prom. Some of these are eye-opening, to say the least. Wowzers!
*Please Note: Entries edited for length and clarity.*
20 Happily NOT Ever After
When you go to prom, there's one thing you need to always remember, and that's to keep a close tab on the person you brought with you as your date. If you decide to speak with other people, hang out with your friends, or even dance with another classmate who showed up without a date, always make sure to let your date know before running off.
Reddit user Scarthearmada was not the kind of guy who would ever leave his date hanging while he went off to do other things. Unfortunately, his date didn't feel the same way. Not only did they spend very little time at prom together, but she bailed on him during a teen movie.
“Asked my high school crush to the prom, she accepted. We danced once, then I didn't see her for the rest of the night. We went to her house for the after party, which was a mistake with a house full of cheerleaders. At some point, they ended up watching Bring It On, which had just come out on DVD. I fell asleep during the movie. When I woke up, everyone else was asleep, and my date was upstairs in her room. 2/10, would not go again.”
19 The Real Party Comes Afterwards
Most teens will get on their knees and beg mom and dad to give them the best prom experience ever, which, in parent talk, means that they'll have to fork over a lot of money in order to rent a tux, buy a dress, and pay a limo for their kids. After all, the only thing that matters when you're a teenager is the possibility of being crowned prom king or queen and arriving in style, am I right?
But HerNocturne found the prom to be a bit of a snoozefest, and in their opinion, the real party started after the time-honored event.
“Prom itself is meh. What you decide to do afterward is usually what is worth looking forward to. After parties and hanging out with cool people makes it worthwhile. Don't waste your money on a limo or an expensive outfit. Go because you like hanging out with your classmates. Just don't let yourself get hung up on being popular or who is going to be prom king/queen. Just put your expectations low and you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.
Personally, I found it to be pleasant, just a bit boring. I had a date but all we cared about was having fun, no expectations. I am glad I went because I got to hang out with and meet so many of my peers.”
18 A Very Awkward Prom Queen
Becoming a prom queen is an honor that only the most popular teens in high school get to have. That is why so many students will go the extra mile to be suuuuper nice to everyone they know, (and even those they don't know, *cough, cough*) in order to win them over and get them to vote for them.
For starcollector, prom was a real eye-opener because her friend didn't have to go out of her way to get people to vote for her. She didn't spend countless hours in front of the mirror. She didn't buy the most expensive dress. Oh no! All she had to do was be herself and then, a miracle occurred.
“It was pretty fun. My adorable awkward friend who used to dress like she was seven years old, loved anime, and never wore make up asked people to vote for her for prom queen and she won. Luckily and remarkably, the popular kids in my school were popular because they were really nice and friendly, so all the girls we thought would win prom queen were super excited for my friend. But maybe it was fun because we all knew it didn't really matter in the scope of our lives and it was just a cool party where everyone hung out.”
17 An Ulterior Motive
Love can be tough when you're a teenager. There are all sorts of hurdles that get in your way. For starters, most teachers don't like PDA during class, and then there are the parents, who would prefer it if you would simply not date until you're like 100. Still, some parents are really cool.
Take ChicagoWind88 for example. His parents were able to reunite him with his girlfriend, who lived really far away, but when they were finally together, he saw tears run down her face, and he had no idea why. Then he wished he had never learned the truth.
“Had a long distance relationship with a girl during my junior year. For some unknown reason, my school wouldn't allow out of state dates to attend, which sucked because her and her family booked the trip to come in, and my mom had rented a limo for the night.
So we drove around in the limo, and did some touristy stuff because she had never been to my city. After dinner, were in the limo and she starts crying. Turns out she came down but was planning to break up with me because she met someone else.It's ok though. Happily married and moved on.”
16 Take The Sister Out Of The Equation
In today's world, choosing to go stag to the prom might seem empowering, but the whole point of prom is to dance the night away, which you can't do if you don't bring a date. Sure, you could always ask someone else's date to dance with you, but their significant other might have an issue with that. So if you plan on flying solo that night, make sure that some of your friends are planning on doing the same so you can hang out with a group.
Now, if you tell people that you don't have a date, they'll immediately go out of their way to help you find one. Your friends start asking every long lost cousin and childhood friend they know if they have a prom date yet. Even your mom and dad start dropping names. It's like everyone suddenly wants to play matchmaker!
Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to find the right date for prom. Just ask Ferretrape who couldn't get a date and decided to turn to the most unlikely person ever to ask them out. And no, it wasn't his best friend. It was someone he was really close to. Only problem is, this individual was a pretty awful prom date.
"I went out with my sister. I couldn't get a date. It was awkward and terrible. And she kissed a classmate of mine. :/ Never take your sister on a date.”
15 Three Time's The Charmer? Not So Much
Some people set their expectations too high when it comes to prom. After all, when you really think about it, it's nothing more than a school dance. It's simply one of the many events in your life that you'll look back on when you're older... if you can remember.
Contrary to popular belief, proms don't always leave a huge impression. But you do end up wasting money on clothes, corsages, and limos that you could have spent on a trip to Europe. Limos are also not as exciting as they might sound because a lot of the time, there are a bunch of people crammed in there like sardines in a tin can. In some cases, the music they play at the prom might be a bit too lame or outdated even. So, when you think about it, prom doesn't sound like everything everyone says it is.
If there's one person who knows how blasé some proms can be, it's Ziggy_A, who ended up going to the prom more than once, and it didn't exactly change their lives or anything.
“Meh. I went to prom 3 times. All of them were fun. Went to dinner, danced, hung out, went to iHop after, etc. Nothing really stands out to me from any of them. I had a decent time while I was there, so I guess it was worth going, but I wouldn't have missed out on much if I hadn't gone.”
14 It's Raining WHAT?
It's obvious that most people who attend the prom would like to be crowned king and queen, but there can only be one winner. Usually, everyone knows who is up on the popularity pole and has the highest chances of winning. But to become a prom queen, you have to be committed to the whole process and that means you'll have to be socially connected, remember names, and become a well-rounded person by joining school activities like the school newspaper or the debate team. You can also become a fundraiser because everyone loves a do-gooder. But in your quest to become a prom queen, you have to remember that no matter how amazing you may think you are, there's always someone or something that can take you out of the running. Heck! Even Mother Nature may be plotting against you!
During gr8tfurme's prom, something unexpected happened. Fortunately, no one ended up in the hospital, but the race for the crown left one student with a sting she'll never forget.
“About 20 minutes before prom queen was announced, a scorpion dropped from the ceiling and stung one of the runner-ups on the elbow. The paramedics were called, and she left in tears. Needless to say, she didn't win.”
13 It's All About The Benjamins, Baby!
For anyone who is undecided about whether they should go to prom or not, you should know that to most high school students, prom is a great chance to feel special, and a lot of people have zero regrets about going. On the other hand, there are some who find the whole experience to be a huge waste of time and money. Granted, most teens won't pay a dime because their parents will cover the costs, so it doesn't really matter to them. But they're pretty aware of the many sacrifices their parents have to make sure they get one hell of a night.
Of course, some teens are a little more selfless and refuse to have their parents spend so much money on an event that will only last one night, so they want to pay for everything themselves. That is, if they were actually planning on going. Just ask Vote_Subatai , who would have totally regretted prom if he had gone.
“I didn't go. It was a waste of money. $80 for the ticket, another $300 to rent a tux. The girl I was going to go with went with her best friend and left after 2 hours. It would've been the biggest waste of money - and I didn't even have a job.”
12 Getting Caught Up
Prom is one of the highlights of the year for most seniors, and you want to make sure you get to the party looking like Rihanna at the Oscars. Hiring a limo makes perfect sense for a fancy event like prom...unless you're ChrissiTea. She discovered that getting into a limo can be a real challenge when you're wearing a prom dress.
“5 or 6 of us had split the cost of a limo. I was dropped off at one friend's house and was then taken over to another friend's house in the back of her mum's "4" seater coupe to get in the limo. It was one of those cars where the back seat has half a foot of leg room. I 100% expected my dress to get caught on the seat mechanism or something and rip. Getting in and out wasn't particularly glamorous either.
The limo ended up taking us on a half hour drive before we got to the prom and drove right past the first friend's house. We didn't even need to get a lift...
Then when we finally got to prom, someone else was wearing the same dress as me and was threatening to throw a drink over me.
I left after a couple of hours and went to my boyfriend's house instead.”
11 Dorky Wins Every Time
Some people have this notion that prom night is going to end like most Disney movies—with a happily ever after. Heck! Some even feel like their date might finally realize that you're the person they've been looking for their entire life. Then you look into each other's eyes and fall deeply in love like Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, from "The Fault in Our Stars".
Sadly, reality isn't always as magical as we expected. You need to put a bit of effort and a lot of time and energy to make that connection happen, and it won't work if you stay at home instead of going to the prom. But in some cases, you need to do certain things ahead of the main event.
For UhhMrThePlague, going to the prom wasn't something he was looking forward to at all. But something happened to him way before the prom and it led to a life-altering experience that he will never forget.
“Being a pretty dorky kid, I expected them to suck, if I even went to them. But then I met a great girl the summer before junior year and they ended up being fun. But not as much fun as our wedding 6 years ago.”
10 Having The Time Of Their Life...NOT!
They say that if your first prom experience was meh, then you shouldn't give up. You should keep trying because it's very likely that something good will come from that experience. Maybe you chose the wrong date or perhaps, your group of friends wasn't there to support you and have a great night. But prom isn't really for everyone.
Everybody might expect the same things to happen that night. You roll up in a black limo with a bunch of friends and then walk into the school where you'll dance with people and drink punch until you and your date decide to dance together and become the center of the universe.
But then you get there and you realize there are a bunch of adults controlling your every move. Punch doesn't taste that great. Plus, you should've had that sandwich your mom wanted you to eat, and now you're regretting being on an empty stomach. Worst of all? All the stress to make this the best night ever has made you sweat and it's starting to stain your shirt or dress. On top of that, you've spent tons of money just like TryCoserious, who now realizes, that no matter how many times you go to prom, the experience doesn't always get better.
“I went to 4. The first one was lame, and they got progressively worse. Ask any person 5 years out of high school — prom is not worth half the money, stress, or energy that kids put into it. And if any adult tells you otherwise: realize that this person peaked in high school.”
9 A Heads Up Would've Been Nice
Prom can be fun, but very stressful, especially when you're trying to figure out who you're going to take with you or if the person you're interested in will even say yes. The truth is that there's a protocol when it comes to these things, especially when it comes to rejecting someone, which admittedly, is never a fun thing to do. But if you're polite and honest from the beginning, then you can avoid breaking someone's heart.
For starters, if you're going to turn someone down, make sure to do it when there's no one else around because there's nothing worse than being rejected in public. Also, if you're going to do it, then start by being gracious. Thank them and tell them how flattered you are.
It's too bad that GunnieGraves didn't have it as easy when he got turned down cold.
“Senior prom I took a German exchange student who was pretty attractive, and we got along very well.
I had known her for the entire year at this point and she waited until we were walking into prom to tell me 'I have a boyfriend so I hope you don't think anything is happening tonight'.
All I could think to respond with was 'I like how you assume that's the only reason I asked you. But that would've been handy information to have, I don't know, six months ago'.
That was our last time speaking.”
8 Bad Luck
There are a lot of things that you could prepare for as you plan your prom, but like everything else in life, you have to accept the fact that things can go wrong too. It's annoying to even entertain the notion that something bad could happen on the best night of your life, (metaphorically speaking, of course!) But things do happen, so it's important to know that beforehand so nothing potentially ruins your night.
Unfortunately, reinwall discovered that some things can totally side swipe you and knock you off the road, which in most cases, would sound totally proverbial, but in their case, this happened to them in a literal and terrifying way.
“The first prom I actually went to was as a junior in high school (around here it's usually just seniors that go) but I rounded up money from all my pals and their dates and we actually got a limo. So we are going out to eat and we make it 75% there and we get hit by someone running a red light. So we missed the reservation time at where we were supposed to eat, didn't get the full time we expected in the limo and got to the prom later than we wanted to. It was funny afterward (we were all okay) but it was one of those "it just had to be today" kind of things.”
7 Double Date
Choosing the wrong type of vehicle to take you to the prom can turn an evening full of fun into a totally unexpected nightmare. It's why most teens opt to rent a limo, because a limo can make a typical school dance feel like you're headed to a Hollywood party. However, when you're on a tight budget, you'll have to learn to compromise, and that's not as bad as it sounds. It might even beat showing up to prom in a cool, decked out limo!
You can turn a van or a full-size Sedan into a makeshift limo with just a few tricks. Sure, the thought of six of your closest friends, plus you and your date fitting into a tight minivan would probably sound awful, but when you're broke, beggars can't be choosers. Besides, it's not the end of the world either. Just ask one Reddit user who totally turned "limo into limonades".
Krebstarpatron had a great time after he retrofitted his minivan to meet his prom needs, and it was so amazing that it made hanging out with his ex a pleasant experience.
“Turned the seats in my minivan around so they faced each other and paid my buddy $50 to be our limo driver for the night. Went on a double date with my ex-gf and a couple friends. Good times were had by all.”
6 Having A Total Blast
When you're shy or suffer from social anxiety, the thought of dealing with prom night will likely make the palms of your hands sweat. There'll be lots of people, most of whom you avoided throughout the last four years. So some of the students there probably don't have a clue that you even exist. Even the teachers might look at you and wonder if you even go to their school. Unfortunately, those that do know who you are may be the people you want to avoid at all costs, particularly if they're known as the classroom bullies.
Naturally, the temptation to skip this otherwise fun occasion is tempting for some people, and that's totally understandable given all the unrealistic expectations, not to mention the peer pressure that is common during high school. But this Anonymous Reddit user decided to take a chance and go to the prom anyway, and it was a decision he did not regret.
“Didn't expect it to be as fun as it was; it actually turned out to be one of the more fun nights of my life. Went with a girl I basically loved all of h.s., but we had broken up after dating for a few months senior year. Got dressed up all fancy and just dance with all my friends from h.s. Our teachers were cool and danced with us. It actually seemed like there wasn't enough time for the actual prom portion to me. It was a fun way to end 4 years with my h.s. friends.
My high school was also a specialized h.s. so everyone was bright and there was very little stereotypical h.s. nonsense.”
5 Kinda Meh
In the US alone, families are spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to ensure that their teens have an unforgettable time at their prom night. Now, most people would say that the cost isn't an issue so long as you have fun, but in some cases, the fun can fizzle out shortly after it begins.
After all, most of the times, all you'll find are a bunch of chocolate chip cookies and some soda served in plastic cups. Plus, the ceiling is full of balloons that will make you feel like you're in some kind child's birthday party. Prom isn't always the glamorous party everyone wants you to believe. Then there's the off chance that you'll actually get to ask someone out who will say yes. But don't be fooled by the cons of this beautiful event, as prom has many pros as well!
IAlwaysDieInGames found that prom costs a bit too much. On the other hand, it wasn't that bad until all the buzz started to fade.
“Prom was interesting to say the least. Was dating my ex at the time. School charged way too much (almost $80/ticket) with after prom being $40/ticket.
The prom committee did a good job of decorating the place. It was nice. Some slow songs, some fast songs. It just got boring after a while.”
4 Keeping It Real
The thing that is often so difficult to accept about proms is the fact that the unforeseen can always happen, and it's not just about a wardrobe malfunction or tripping over your two left feet while trying to look suave on the dance floor.
Accidents can happen on the way to prom, so you have to ask yourself, whether spending so much money on a limo or a rental car is really worth it. If you answered yes, then you might want to make sure that the person driving is responsible enough to be behind the wheel and that they have insurance.
GunnieGraves recalls how one of his classmates did not have a flipping good time, but he did do a flip, and so did his Lexus. And after that ordeal, he probably wished his parents had gotten him some decent insurance.
“We had a very 'urban' element at my school who would go all out at prom. Red suits with canes and hats, the whole thing.
One kid's mom rented him a Lexus convertible which he flipped about 30 seconds after leaving prom. Since he wasn't a licensed driver the insurance didn't cover it. They're probably still paying it off.”
3 Pre-Prom Breakup
It sounds like a scene from the 1999 film She's All That, where a popular high school jock makes a bet that he can turn a regular girl, (who's supposedly not very attractive) into the most ravishing prom date in the world. All it takes is switching the glasses for contact lenses, sprucing up the hairdo, and voila! You have a brand new human being, according to most teen movies. Then the jock falls in love with the girl and realizes that superficial beauty isn't everything, and they live happily ever after, and yada yada yada. You know how it goes!
Well, in real life, things don't usually work out like in the movies. In fact, in the real world, a guy can get dumped for someone that is better looking in the blink of an eye. It sounds harsh, but it's true, and that's exactly what happened to JohnnyLuvBuckets, who was heartbroken for a little while. But then he decided that the best way to get back at the girl who called things off was to give it another try with someone who was very close to his ex.
“Girlfriend broke up with me before prom for a short dude who drove a dodge neon. I took her larger sister to the prom because nobody else would take her. Had a Great time, dropped her sister off home and pretty sure made her year.”
2 It Wasn't So Bad
You spend so much time and money to ensure that this extravagant event goes off without any issues. Now, most proms start out amazing but as time goes by, some attendees will suddenly start yawning. But fortunately, that's what the afterparty is for, isn't it? Now most schools don't sanction afterparties and neither do most parents because kids usually get into trouble while hanging out at some random student's basement. In most cases, the parents aren't even home which could potentially translate into total and utter chaos.
Since most teens are all about taking selfies, you can expect some interesting snaps that will end up on Facebook and Instagram with hashtags like #prahm in order to immortalize all the great moments you had at the afterparty. And if you ask tree1093 , they'll tell you that the real party starts after prom is over.
“So I actually enjoyed prom a lot. My date and I dressed up really nice, took great pictures with a bunch of friends, danced, came back, and then the after party happened. The prom itself was an average, 'lets dance and have a good time, whatever' kind of thing, but I wouldn't say it was awful. But its the after party that you really go to prom for.”
1 Never Ending Prom Night
There isn't a single prom out there that doesn't end with someone in tears. It sounds like a scene from a teen TV series, but it's true. There are all kinds of things that go on in the minds of teenagers, and what might seem logical to grownups, isn't logical to young people. For example, there was that one girl from Lakeland High School named Madison Witham, whose boyfriend dumped her at the prom because he felt that her dress was too revealing. As awful as that sounds, even people who grow up to be famous celebrities have gotten their hearts broken at the prom.
While appearing on the show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, the host decided to ask Captain America actor Chris Evan's brother, Scott the following question: “Scott, where did Chris wake up the morning after being broken up with at his senior prom?” Naturally, Scott just laughed and didn't really give out much detail other than confirming that Chris did get dumped. That girl is probably out there regretting the fact that she broke Captain America's heart. Ouch!
Unfortunately, thiiisssmonkey is neither an actor, nor Captain America, but they did have the same heartbreaking experience at prom.
“My date found out I liked her and got awkward and ditched to dance with another guy.”