Prom survival guide

Your school prom or leaving ball is often the most hotly anticipated social event of the year. The Mix is here to help you through this rite of passage possibly whilst getting misty eyed about how grown-up you've got. Sob.

girl in prom dress pinning a corsage onto a boy's tux

Oh, so that's what a corsage is...

What to wear to prom

If you’re female, it’s likely you’ve spent as much time planning your prom dress as you will your wedding gown. Looking marvellous isn’t enough. You must be the most marvellous girl in the room. Hang on, not just the room, the most marvellous in a 20-mile radius. Unless your entrance is accompanied by a stunned silence where every boy who ever rejected you mutters to himself he’s a DAMNED FOOL, the dress is a failure.

Here at The Mix we ask you to please stop putting pressure on yourself, and don’t spend a ridiculous amount of money. Check out the high-street and vintage stores for more affordable options. You’re going to look fabulous whatever you wear.

If you’re a bloke, hire a suit. Sorted.

Who to take to prom

America has a lot to answer for. Its obsession with prom – and with getting a date for prom – has seeped into our British culture and we’re struggling to cope. The problem is we Brits don’t really ‘date’. We rely more on drunken mishaps, or attraction developing between friends. But when it comes prom-time we’re suddenly asked to break free from our social awkwardness and get a date for the evening. Here’s some advice. Even if you do manage to successfully bag someone, you’ll probably spend most of the evening ignoring each other and hanging out with your friends instead. So don’t stress if you’re going it alone. Hollywood A-lister Reese Witherspoon didn’t have a date to prom and bought her dad with her instead!

Prom photos

No matter how incredible you think you look on prom night, this won’t stop the inevitable grimace whenever you look at the photos in the future. You are guaranteed in your adult years to screech “what the hell was I thinking?” Yet this reaction can be diminished if you take some simple steps now. Most importantly, practise your pose. The most flattering pose is: stand diagonally to the camera with one foot in front of another whilst turning your head to the side. Avoid high-fashion unless you want the picture to date in less than a year. Wacky outfit contributions are only likely to up the cringe factor. Yes. wearing a kilt or ironic-bin-liner dress may get you an initial laugh, but that’s it. For the rest of the night/your lifetime, you’re just going to be that idiot who wore a bin-liner to prom.

What to expect from prom

You’re celebrating the end of school – which is brilliant obviously. But remember it’s still school. So all the crap, the cliques and the teacher-favouring you’ve put up with for the past five years is still going to be there. Yes, it would be wonderful if everyone put secondary-school politics behind them for one beautiful evening. You can hope the geeks will dance with the popular kids, the goths will laugh joyfully with the rugby players and some chubby spotty girl will incomprehensibly be made Prom Queen – but it’s not going to happen.

Our tip? You’ll have fun, sure, but unfortunately it’s likely to be like an average school day – just with non-alcoholic punch and a glitter ball. Fret not. There will be many wonderful parties in your adult life to enjoy, so don’t think of this as your only chance to shine.

The after-party

Forget the prom – it’s all about the afterparty. Fun, but also filled with even more expectations. Mainly:

a) You must lose your virginity before going on to college/university

b) You must get very drunk indeed.

Losing your virginity is a big decision you only get to make once. It’s not something to lose to score social points, because you feel peer pressured, or because you’re trying to live up to a low-rent American film where a teenager masturbates into a pie.

And the drunkenness? Yes it is bound to happen but try, if you can, to avoid hospital. Prom is the last impression you’ll give people of yourself. Do you really want to be remembered solely as the girl who puked down her dress/guy who went mental and screamed “I HATE ALL OF YOU?”

Next Steps

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school| virginity


Updated on 29-Sep-2015