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​For high school students, the start of spring brings on thoughts of prom.  For some people, prom is an exciting and special time. For others, prom may create anxiety and make them feel a bit awkward or out of place.  Whatever the case might be for you, put the focus on having a fun and safe night so you will be able to look back at your prom experience with fond memories.

What prom is...

Time to Socialize:  Prom is a night for you to socialize with many people.  Sometimes an unfamiliar event like prom can also create a sense of anxiety. If that’s case, there are some great pointers for you.  Whether you have many friends or just a few, this may be a time for you to talk to people that you don’t typically spend time with.  Being kind and complimenting others on a night like this can help you feel more confident and at ease.

Time to Have Fun:   Don’t stress about making your night “perfect,” instead focus on making it fun.  Don’t take yourself or the night too seriously. Participate in your school’s after prom party. Enjoy spending time with friends-- or making new friends.

Time to be Present:  Be emotionally present. If you are worried/stressed out about something else, try to put your worries away for the night so you can enjoy your time.  Be physically present. Avoid substances that would impair your thinking or compromise your ability to make good decisions.

Time for Good Manners:  Prom is a rare event during your school years that requires you to dress in more formal ​clothes than you may have ever worn before. Your manners should match.  Remember simple things like saying “please and thank you,” holding the door open for others, and using good table manners.

Time to be Responsible:  If your parents allow you to borrow their car or stay out later for prom, they are showing that they trust you to make good decisions.  Show that you are worthy of this trust.  Be home when you say that you will be home or call if you will be late.  This is your time to shine as a responsible young adult.


What prom isn’t…

Time to Break the Bank:  Be careful about spending too much money on your prom experience.  The costs can add up. Yes, you want to look nice but don’t turn prom into a competition to out-do your friends. Keep in mind that spending $500 on a dress doesn’t necessarily translate into having a more enjoyable time. It’s one night of your life, try to keep things in perspective.   

Time to Compromise your Boundaries:  Just because it is a special night it doesn’t mean that you should do something that goes against your values.  Be clear with your friends and your date what your beliefs are. If they ask you to do something against these beliefs, say no right away so can avoid situations that you don’t want to be in.

Time to Stress About “Who to Go With:” After high school, many people will say that their best prom memories aren’t necessarily connected to who their date was that night.  Instead it was about spending time with friends.  Not stressing out about the one person you want to go with can lift pressure for the night to be “perfect” and may allow you to just enjoy the experience.

So, have fun.  Stay safe.  And make great memories!



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