Prom. Drama. Prama? How do we get there? Who’s on our bus? What should I wear? Have you gotten the corsage yet? What are we doing after? Ugh, going with those kids? No, no. Please no. Prama.
Here’s what they saw: A bunch of strangers packed like cattle into a bus that, although states it seats 40 people, has enough room for about 30 comfortably, leaving ten either sitting on the ground or awkwardly holding onto the large dancing pole in the center of the bus; very New York subway-esque, with just a tad more luxury and a tad bit louder music. After about an hour of riding (or rather, suffering) in said bus, the strangers shuffle out, exchange some profound words to each other such as “We are here!” and disperse in their microgroups. As the sun sets over the beautiful barren landscape surrounding the Ronald Reagan museum, temperatures dropped about 20 degrees, leaving the unmoving outdoor line in a climate debacle; jackets began coming off of the males and onto the females (chivalry is still alive). After about another of waiting, the line finally moves indoors, where faculty is ready to congratulate the students on their immaculate survival skills thus far. And then the fun starts. They don’t see this part. About two hours later, they’ve finally figured out the logistics of where everyone is going after, where all of the missing dates are, where the bus is, etc. Prom time is always the best time for planning out the rest of the night. It’s really like a board meeting if you think about it, disguised by a facade of flashing lights and DJ mediocrity (and in this prom’s case, a gigantic plane). And then, the ride home commences. Secrecy is in the air. One microgroup knows they’re going to an afterparty somewhere, one other has another place, and one doesn’t have any place. It turns into a game of telephone. After the ride home, mostly everyone goes out, and their nights begin. Prama.
Or, alternatively, let me PROMulgate (I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it) my prom theories and doctrines.
Here’s what I saw: Strangers meet at a house before prom, and their night begins. Not everyone knows each other, but everyone socializes; whether it be meet and greets or smalltalk, everyone makes the effort to come off as cordial and kind as possible. And then those strangers find their best friends and their dates. They hug, talk, take pictures that will be shown to grandchildren someday, and enjoy each other’s presence. Everyone enjoys the moment. And then the group pictures start, with each parent (minus the self-proclaimed professionals with the DSLR cameras) fumbling around their photo capturing devices, receiving laughter from the both the kids and the surrounding parents. They try so hard for the perfect picture; it’s just love and pride. And then everyone boards the bus, and no one worries about the future. It’s music, talking, laughing, and dancing; the embracement of the the optimistic vibrations of the present, which ebbs and flows within every smiling face in the bus. Everyone gets to prom after an hour, gets out of the bus, and is greeted by friends shouting their names to come say hi. The line serves no restraints for excitement, as people cross from place to place to enjoy even seconds with friends. The line passes quickly, as everyone is occupied in fun or the beautiful cliffside sunset, illuminating the sky with oranges and pinks and dark blues. And then, everyone enters. And the fun starts. Everyone sees this part. Whether it be dancing (most students have now learned that the majority of teens can’t dance anyways, so if they look dumb, no one cares) or eating (a buffet is enough alone to make someone’s night) or taking photobooth pictures or just hanging outside, every activity is beautiful. And after two hours of letting go of any stress in the world, everyone finds their way back to the buses. Some people are tired, and fall asleep on their dates or friends; others sing Tiny Dancer at the top of their lungs. Not one care in the world. Just euphoria. And then, as the bus turns pulls up to the host house, everyone gets off, hugs, says their goodbyes, and resumes the rest of their nights, filled with the sentiment of prom. That’s what I saw.
There is a common takeaway from prom: It is an event of friendship, not worry and fretfulness. It is a time to enjoy the company of others; time that, for seniors especially, might not be in their lives much longer. It’s a time to cherish the excellence of every second that passes by, not a time to live in the future.
Carry this over into an everyday setting; the concept still applies. It’s been told many times before – don’t sweat the small stuff. High School is a mosaic of all emotions, and a synthesis of all forms of change; don’t overlook the beauty in all of it. It’s there.