6 prom night do's and don'ts from a recent San Diego high school graduate.

Sometimes the details surrounding prom night get in the way of what prom is all about—celebrating your youth. Prom is the ultimate capstone for high school students and a way to celebrate the four years you’ve spent growing and changing during high school. Here are six do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as the big day approaches.

1. Do Have Fun.
My senior prom, my date flaked and I was left looking for someone else to take. I asked an old friend but when the day came, I was so bitter towards my original date, I was upset for a large chunk of the evening. In the grand scheme of things, your date isn’t as important as the group of people you go with. Don’t simmer over every little thing that goes wrong.

2. Don’t Do Drama.
For whatever reason, prom night is a night when friends fight, couples break up and girls cry in the bathroom. Remember that you’re there to have fun. Don’t let a comment that one of your friends said about your dress get to you. There’s no need to make mountains out of molehills on a night that’s supposed to be a celebration.

3. Do Get Creative.
There are many avenues you can explore when it comes to pre- and post-prom festivities. Think outside of the box. Have a potluck at someone’s house instead of paying for an expensive dinner. Go see a late-night movie when the dance is done. Creativity on prom night can make the evening a lot more fun and interesting.

4. Don’t Forget to Be Smart.
Being creative doesn’t give you an excuse to be belligerent or reckless. Remember that every action you take has a consequence. Don’t end your evening being reprimanded by authorities or with your parents picking you up from being detained somewhere. If you have a feeling that an idea may end up in disaster, follow your gut and leave that idea alone.

5. Do Thank Your Teachers.
This may seem counterintuitive, but if your teachers and coaches attend prom night, chat with them. You may not get to every teacher on graduation day. With a much more laid-back atmosphere, walk up to your teacher and thank her for the time she invested in you.

6. Don’t Forget It.
When you’re in college, prom may seem dorky, childish, or “so high school.” The older you get, the more you’ll look back and remember how much fun you had, and reflect on your entire high school career. As annoying as they may be, let your parents take hundreds of pictures. You’ll be thankful they did.

Annie Buell is a junior at Point Loma Nazarene University, a freelance writer, and a Netflix aficionado in her free time. Follow her on Twitter at @anniekabannie.

Published: May 2014

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