Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper

The Charger Account

In Defense of Prom

Simple Steps for Surviving Awkwardness

Photo credit: Amanda Jo Sodernan

Photo credit: Amanda Jo Sodernan

By Jean-Michel Ricard, News Editor

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Before I begin I want to make this clear: I’ve never been a big fan of prom. I don’t like dancing and it doesn’t like me, and frankly I think there are far better, cheaper, and comfortable ways of having fun and/or making a huge fool of myself.

That being said, after finally being strong-armed into this year’s prom by a friend of mine, I do think it is also a surprisingly positive experience and something that everyone should try once, as long as you follow these simple guidelines:

 

  1. Have a purpose

You absolutely need a reason to go to prom. Otherwise, you’d have just about as much fun for much cheaper in the back alley of any two-star restaurant. Typically your reason will consist of either a date (which is ideal) or accompanying friends who are also going. This step is key because your prom experience is directly related to how much fun those around you are having. If you go with other people who are determined to have a good time, odds are you’ll have fun too.

 

  1. Know that you’re not alone

In case you were wondering, no, you will not be the only sap you know who shows up to prom. There will be a solid showing of friends, acquaintances, and just people whose names you know who (like you) apparently had nothing better to do. As you spot these people out you will find your mood improving considerably, not only because it will probably give you the impression of being more social than you really are, but because you will find that you will connect with these people in a way you wouldn’t connect anywhere else. Namely, you will all share the purpose of being uncomfortably clothed and a little nervous and out of your depth.

 

  1. Realize that dancing is easy

First off, as I said before, I’m not a dancer. I am a tall, gangly white guy with an exaggerated sense of awkwardness and no sense of rhythm whatsoever. If you’ve been following me this far, odds are you’re in a similar situation. However, I must assure you that you have nothing to worry about. I don’t know what happened, but apparently dancing these days can be summed up like this:

  1. Step forward.
  2. Step back.

Since nearly every song the DJ will play will have the exact same beat, you can pretty much do this all night and come out fine. You can even add in some arm motion if you’re feeling adventurous.

 

  1. Enjoy the crowd

While friends are essential, you must appreciate that the crowd is key. Much like a primordial jungle, the crowd around you will camouflage your own discomfort and ineptitude, ensuring that you end up as just one part of a larger, uncomfortably inept entity. Seriously, if at any time you have any doubts about your dancing skills, look around. Not only will you find that the crowd (aided by the occasional grinders) is covering for your pathetic lurching, but you will also be relieved to see that they are doing the exact same moves as you are, and with only slightly more skill.

 

  1. Keep a lookout on the chocolate fountain

If you ever get really nervous, just stand by the chocolate fountain. Within minutes someone will inevitably spill chocolate all over the floor, themselves, their dates, etc, and you will gain the wonderful self-assurance of someone who isn’t that person at that particular moment.

Needless to say, you yourself should avoid the fountain like the plague.

 

  1. Keep a sense of humor

The most important step of all is to keep a healthy sense of humor. It is true, and in fact inevitable, that you will be making a tremendous fool of your awkward, inept self. However, trust me when I say it will be hilarious. When this happens, be ready to recognize that hilarity in yourself and enjoy it, because everyone around you will be in the exact same absurd position. Follow this advice and you’ll be laughing all night.

So all in all prom is a pretty good experience. Sure it’s late, expensive, uncomfortable, stuffy, dark, loud, and exceedingly awkward, but it’s an experience unlike any other. Your friends and enemies will be trussed up in suits, balancing on high heels, and generally exposed to discomfort and ridicule at a level not possible elsewhere right alongside you. Ultimately, it’s this shared sense of vulnerability and a determination to have fun that really makes prom so memorable and guarantees a fun time.

That, and the chocolate fountain.

 

 

 

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Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper
In Defense of Prom