For many students, prom night is something that they look forward to since primary school. Many young kids marvel at the young men and their suits and the young ladies in their prom gowns, waiting for the day when they will get to do the same.
However, as time goes by and students suddenly find themselves in their senior year of high school, they may not feel the same attraction to prom night as they once did. But before you drop out of prom night, consider the advantages of attending this memorable evening.
What Is Junior Senior Promenade?
Prom is a tradition that some historians say has been around since the end of the 1800s. But the prom as you know it today gained popularity in the 1940s and 50s. "Prom" actually stands for "promenade," though many students these days may not know that and will simply refer to it as "prom." Junior and senior prom, or JS promenade, is a co-ed dance that has been transformed throughout the decades and has some controversy as many schools made headlines for banning same-sex or interracial couples from attending.
Today, no two schools do prom the same way, but they are all similar in being a school dance where students get dressed up and have a good time with friends. Some schools will host their proms in the gymnasium, and others will book it at a banquet hall somewhere in town. Each school may also have their own individual prom traditions that have been passed down through the generations.
Junior vs. Senior Prom Night
Although senior prom is the one that most people think of when they think of "prom," many schools also have proms for their junior class as well, often called "junior prom" or "junior banquet." While both are similar in that they are formal dances, junior prom is meant for the junior class, and senior prom is meant for the senior class. Of course, some students may bring dates from another class to attend the prom with them.
Junior and senior prom night may differ in a number of ways. For instance, the school may not put as much as a budget toward junior prom as they would toward senior prom. Junior prom may be held in a different place than senior prom, and some students may decide to attend one over the other (usually, they choose senior prom).
Usually, fewer students end up attending junior prom than senior prom, especially if senior prom is a much bigger event. Or if they do attend both, they may be willing to spend more money on their senior prom than their junior prom. But if you're able to attend both, then you'll get to experience two enjoyable life events.
Memories You'll Never Forget
Attending prom night, whether it be junior or senior prom, is a night that most students can remember for the rest of their lives. Many students turn their prom night into a big event, going to the salon together with friends to get ready or taking pictures at a pretty location before the night begins.
In addition to the actual prom, many students make "after-prom" parties and plans, spending the night or the following weekend together. Whatever you and your friends decide to make of prom night, you'll be sure to make memories that you'll never forget.
Pictures to Look Back On
Prom night is a great time to take pictures with your friends and even your family, as you'll be all dressed up and looking your best with hopefully your closest friends. When you get older, it can be fun to reminisce and look back on these photos and recall the memories you had not just that night but throughout high school.
Also, if you have a date to prom, whether it be a boyfriend or girlfriend or just a friend, it can be a sweet memory to look at pictures and think of your time together as a couple or friends in high school. And perhaps if you have children of your own one day, they would enjoy seeing your photos from prom night too.
Your Last Time with Your High School Friends
One of the biggest advantages of attending junior or senior prom is that it's the ultimately the last time you'll be able to experience something with your high school friends all together. Some people are lucky and maintain strong relationships with their high school friends through life, or even marry their high school sweethearts. But for most people, they'll go on to college or a career, which may mean moving away from their hometown for good.
You Might Feel That You've Missed Out
At first, some students might not care to go to their junior or senior prom. But when they start hearing stories from their friends and classmates about how the evening or prom weekend went, they may begin to feel that they've missed out.
Many people refer to this as "FOMO" or the fear of missing out (which is why most students will just attend prom). If you don't want to regret sitting out on prom night, then it's best to just go. Worst case scenario, if you're really not enjoying it, you can always leave. But at least give the night a try.
Prom Night is Fun
By and large, the major advantage of junior senior prom night is that it's fun. Junior year is probably the most stressful year in high school, as there are many college readiness exams and preparations to make for those who want to go to college. Then, the first semester of senior year is spent applying for colleges and waiting anxiously to hear back from them.
Prom night is a chance to let loose and have a good time, celebrating the end of your time in high school. It's a time when you don't have to think about taking tests, filling out applications or dwelling on when you'll hear back from schools. So put that all behind you and take advantage of the opportunity to have a great night with your friends.
The Disadvantages of Junior & Senior Prom Night
In spite of all the advantages to attending junior and/or senior prom night, there are some disadvantages that may push some students not to attend at all. First and foremost, prom night can be very expensive. Most schools charge their students to attend prom, and it can be rather expensive.
On top of that, you'll have to spend money on an dress or tuxedo, as well as whatever plans you have to celebrate prom, whether it be an after-party, taking a limousine to the dance or going away for the weekend with friends. Luckily, there are many ways to save money on prom, like shopping for a donated dress or opting to do the after-party at somebody's home.
Another disadvantage of junior and senior prom is that it can be nerve-wracking for some students who do not have a date to the dance or are too nervous to ask someone to go with them. Or if you recently moved to a new school, and you're not sure if your new group of friends will want to include you. But many students attend prom as a group instead of as a couple. And if you're new to your school, don't be shy to ask your new friends if you can join.
Why Go to Junior Senior Prom
At the end of the day, while there may certainly be some downsides to attending your junior or senior prom, the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages. If you're really unsure about going, try to think about your reasons and be open-minded. Even if you attend. and you decide that it's not for you, you'll be glad that you at least gave it a shot. Or you can choose to attend your junior prom first to get an idea of what senior prom will be like.
Most students generally have one chance to attend prom in a lifetime. This is one of the main reasons to go. When you think about the memories you'll make, how much fun you'll have and the pictures you'll get to look back on, it's not worth it to miss this night. Whether it's junior or senior prom, get out there and enjoy it because you won't have another chance.
Hana LaRock is a freelance content writer from New York, currently living in Mexico. She has spent the last 5 years traveling the world and living abroad and has lived in South Korea and Israel. Before becoming a writer, Hana worked as a teacher for several years in the U.S. and around the world. She has her teaching certification in Elementary Education and Special Education, as well as a TESOL certification. Hana spent a semester studying abroad at Tel Aviv University during her undergraduate years at the University of Hartford. She hopes to use her experience to help inform others. Please visit her website, www.hanalarockwriting.com, to learn more.