The Five Stages of Prom

2 mins read

By Rain Ji ’19

1) Denial

“I am not going to prom because I can have as much fun at Six Flags.” You tell this to your best friend who eagerly tries to find you a prom date in March when Mr. Drew has not even announced prom yet. You are in a state of denial. You refuse to believe that you have to get ready for prom: figuring out promposals, buying a dress or renting a tuxedo, ordering a corsage or boutonniere, trying to pay the impossible ticket price and finally transforming yourself on the day of prom, because nobody really cares about what you look like on Sundays, unless it’s prom Sunday.

2) Anger

It’s mid-April and you have finally made up your mind to go to prom. The Facebook page has some posts in it but not a lot because others are just like you, procrastinating until the last minute. Forget about Six Flags, that’s for freshmen. But very soon, you find yourself being angry at other people as well as yourself. You are angry at the guy who you thought would ask you, you are angry at David’s Bridal because they don’t have your favorite dress in your size and in the end, you are angry at yourself for procrastinating until the last minute.

3) Bargaining

May rolls around, and prom is right around the corner. You begin to bargain with the voice in your head, or perhaps God: I will never have ice-cream again if you just let me fit in one size smaller; I will never get myself involved in prom drama if he asks me in a cute way…You begin hearing all kinds of “what-if” statements in your head. What if your prom date can’t find a matching outfit, what if a lacrosse practice gives you a bruise, what if your best friend can’t sit with you at the table. Everyone starts to talk about prom, and everyone seems to know what they are doing, but in reality, everyone is just as clueless about their prom experience as you are.

4) Depression

It’s the week before prom and you have barely slept at all thanks to all the review sessions for AP exams and the endless quizzes, presentations, and essays. You show up to classes like the walking dead because you forget it’s another flip flex schedule. Prom is so close yet so far, and once again you question if it’s really worth all the trouble just for some glamorous Instagram posts (and maybe a good time with friends). You do not feel motivated at all, and you’ve abandoned that prom diet and workout plan for good.

5) Acceptance

It’s May 19, and whether you like it or not, it’s prom. You get your spray tan done, your nails done, your hair styled, your face caked and you squeeze into your dress and your way-too-high-to-walk-in heels. Listening to Spotify, you and your friends wait anxiously hoping that your dates will pick you up from the dorm. Before you leave, you take one last look in the mirror to check for the extraordinarily white teeth promised by all those Crest 3D whitening strips you used. You’ve accepted it, you’re going to prom!

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