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Advice for prom-goers

By Luis Taganas

With Prom fever firmly setting itself into the Junior Class, “promposals” are popping up, adding to the excitement and pressure on students to quickly obtain a date.

With high school comes trivial social obligations that students “need” to follow. Getting a date for prom can be as stressful as it is fun and spontaneous. But students shouldn’t feel that dates are what make prom fun. They are certainly part of the traditional experience, but they aren’t necessary to have a good time.

Going stag with a group of friends can be just as fun as going with a certain someone. Prom is a time to celebrate and let loose with your fellow classmates.

At the same time, no one should be afraid to ask anyone to be their date if they really want to. Many people want to go through with huge spectacles for promposals, and there is nothing wrong with that. But there needs to be major planning beforehand to make sure things go smoothly.

But first, in terms of dates, a date should be someone that you can have fun with. Taking someone who you are not familiar with can make things awkward and tense. Comfort is one of the most important things to consider when picking a prom date. There is no point in taking a person who you feel like you need to entertain. You and your date should be able to have fun on your own while also taking pleasure in each other’s company.

There is nothing wrong with guys taking their homeboys to prom as friends. Same goes for girls. In a progressive place such as Alameda, it is surprising that there are not many prom couples like this.

Along with that, people should not make assumptions about people and their dates for prom. Though it can be a good way to let someone know that you are interested, many couples take each other as friends and leave it at that.

The spontaneity of promposals adds a lot to the prom experience, but if executed incorrectly, they risk major embarrassment for both parties. Before bringing out the choir and elephants, at least have an idea of how your target might respond. This may entail asking your target beforehand. Asking someone beforehand can take away some of the whimsy, removing most of the element of surprise. But it is better than risking a rejection to your mass of balloons and the sign you have put hours of work into.

Going public with a promposal has its benefits and drawbacks. Being promposed to with the whole world watching can be extremely intimidating. It is up to the asker to use discretion. If the askee is known to be shy, holding out a huge sign at the circle can have unwanted consequences.

If you are the victim of poor promposal planning, then you should not be afraid of rejecting someone. No matter how big they went with their promposal, if they are not someone you would want to go with, it is not unreasonable to say no. You are being asked a favor, you do not owe them anything. This major flaw in prom logic can cause a great deal pressure on people to say yes to someone they might not want to go with. It is better to nip it in the bud right then and there, rather than lead someone on. You are doing both of yourselves a service by preventing future mishaps.

In all, prom is what you make of it. Why not make it fun? Whether that means throwing together a promposal for someone, or partying with a group of your friends. Date or not, everyone should let loose and celebrate. Forget all the social constraints and let yourself go.

AHS Journalism
The Oak Leaf, a product of the journalism class, is a vehicle of student expression and a public forum for the Alameda High School community.