6 Dos and Don'ts for Teens on Prom Night

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Prom night tips from a San Diego 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.
For 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, a 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 often 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 petty comments from friends 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 to explore when it comes to pre- and post-prom festivities. Think outside 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 mean being belligerent or reckless. Remember that every action has a consequence. Don’t end the evening being reprimanded by authorities, or with parents picking you up from being detained somewhere. If you have a feeling that someone's idea may end in disaster, follow your gut and leave it alone. Be smart.

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 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 freelance writer and a Netflix aficionado (in her free time). She wrote this article a couple years after she graduated from high school. Follow her on Twitter at @anniekabannie.

Updated: April 2018

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