Post-prom: parties or pancakes?


Courtesy of Cliff Lawson

Prom is about having fun with friends, not making decisions to regret.

Nail appointment at 9 a.m. Hair at 11 a.m. Makeup at 1 p.m. Meet the group at 2:30 p.m. Pictures at 3 p.m. More pictures at 4 p.m. Dinner at 5:30 p.m. A whole day of preparation and errands for a dance which lasts approximately four hours.

I think we, as a collective, realized how silly it was to only enjoy our beautified, expensive appearances for a few short hours. That is why we have post-prom plans lasting until 1, 2, 3 a.m. Speaking from experience, prom is fun, but after is better as long as the fun is pure, wholesome time with friends. I’m not saying it’s bad to get a little rowdy and have some fun, but I am saying responsibility will ensure a good time whereas alcohol, illegal substances, and events which lead to possible pregnancies… maybe not so much.

All that said, prom is great, but prom night–that’s what I really remember.”

— Aryauna Thompson, 12

I have attended two proms before this year– one as a freshman and one as a junior. Both post-prom experiences left me with memories I will never forget and some I can look back on and cherish. My freshman prom experience was with a group of seniors. We danced at a James Bond-themed prom and when we left, we ended up at I-Hop. I ate pancakes in my prom dress and laughed uncontrollably when my friend spilled orange juice all over the place.

There were about five of us crammed into a tiny booth in our overpriced tuxes and gowns until midnight, talking about how hard it was to dance to the music, how much the girls’ feet hurt from the heels, and laughing about the look on our friend’s face when he saw some of the more risqué dancing in the middle of the floor. After eating, we all went home, changed into sweats and t-shirts, and met at a friend’s house to play four-square until 4 a.m. Not to brag or anything, but I was the champion for three straight games. We don’t need to talk about the other 800.

I have not spoken to many members of that group in nearly three years, but I remember every moment of that night, I remember all our laughter, all our fun, and all the reasons I miss having them around. Those memories are precious–and not one of us consumed anything illegal.

Prom is fun because we are young and in our element with friends. We don’t need illegal or irresponsible add-ons to make it memorable.”

— Aryauna Thompson, 12

Last year, I went to prom with a date. We danced for a while, but I spent most of prom destroying him at cornhole. Oh yes, four-square is not the only sports-ish thing I’m decent at. Afterward, we met up with a group at a friend’s house and ate breakfast burritos his mom made. They were incredible and we talked and laughed the night away. We played a terrible jelly bean game where the candies tasted like popcorn, ear wax, vomit, and apple. I nearly threw up more times than I’d like to admit, but so did we all.

I spent hours at that house, watching the boys eat as if they were bottomless pits, listening to the girls laugh for no reason other than the fact they were tired so everything was funny, and committing every second to memory. Unlike the group from my freshman year, I still talk to every member of that group and our shared post-prom experience only brought us closer to each other. I would not trade the memories I share with them for anything–and none of those memories include alcohol.

All that said, prom is great, but prom night–that’s what I really remember. This prom, I encourage everyone to enjoy the dance and afterward, I hope you laugh about orange juice until your sides hurt, or eat jelly beans that are so gross, they should not exist. I hope you demolish your date at cornhole or live in the king’s spot of the four-square court. I hope you laugh at boys’ appetites and complain about your shoes. I hope your memories are precious and the moment you gain them is even better. I hope prom for you is about fun and friends, and I hope you enjoy the ride for what it is instead of ruining it with decisions you can never take back. Because believe me, prom is fun because we are young and in our element with friends. We don’t need illegal or irresponsible add-ons to make it memorable.