June 3, 2020
Prom is certainly one of the most memorable moments of high school. Everyone remembers theirs, even if it’s for different reasons! But this year, because of the coronavirus, this tradition cannot take place the way it normally does. So, how can students make their 2020 graduation as memorable as any other?
Rite of Passage
A rite of passage is an event that marks the end of an important stage in someone’s life. In this case, it’s the transition towards adulthood. At the end of high school, students must make personal decisions that will influence the rest of their lives. So, it’s become tradition to underline this milestone with a special event: prom!
It takes months to organize a prom. A committee is created at the beginning of the school year, committee which then has to find sources of funding and a caterer, as well as choose a DJ, a room, a photographer, decorations, etc. No one could have predicted that the coronavirus would put a halt to all this hard work. Thankfully, many schools are simply postponing, and not cancelling prom. So, there’s still hope!
Celebrating the End of High School… Differently
With prom comes an array of symbolic events and objects. Why not focus on these to make the prom of 2020 unique?
- The yearbook: Although students are staying home, they should still be able to get their yearbook. And instead of signing their friends’ yearbooks in person, students can send each other pictures and messages. The prom committee can be creative and make a scrapbook for the final-year students.
- The graduation ceremony and ring: The diplomas and rings can be awarded differently, for instance by mail or by door-to-door. Some teachers are already going door to door to congratulate students and bring them their diploma to underline the end of this important step. If your teen is receiving his or her diploma in the mail, you could set up an official awarding ceremony in the living room or backyard!
- The outfit: This is probably the most essential part of prom! For teenagers, their outfit is a way to express their personality, whether it was made by hand or simply bought at a store. With the lockdown being slowly lifted, some students decided to wear their prom dress to go empty their locker. In certain schools, the staff and teachers gathered to congratulate the students and even rolled out a red carpet to make this moment unique.
- The ride: Whether we want to admit or not, making an impression when arriving at prom is important! Students want to stand out and draw the attention to them. According to social distancing rules, people not from the same household must respect a two-metre distance. When you think about it, you can follow these rules while being in a car! A procession of cars with the students dressed up in their prom outfits is certainly an idea to keep in mind.
- The afterparty: Perhaps the most coveted part of prom, the afterparty gives students a chance to keep celebrating without adult supervision. In the current situation, some schools have decided to project the graduation ceremony on a giant screen in a drive-in. Others chose to host a virtual prom. The same ideas can be applied to the afterparty!
- The pride to have persevered: Most of all, this rite of passage is an occasion for parents to show their teens how proud they are of them for persevering and putting in the efforts to obtain their high school diploma. They are now ready for the next big step: post-secondary education!
Overall, the question regarding prom this year is: in person or virtually? Either way, it’s possible to plan an event that will respect social distancing practices. Needless to say that the prom of 2020 will be forever engraved in our teens’ memories!
A Quick History of Prom
Prom first finds its origins in France at the beginning of the Renaissance. The event was then largely popularized in the mid 70s when it made its appearance in American cinema. Since then, countless Hollywood movies have been centred around prom—from Grease to American Pie—which has contributed to making it an unmissable tradition.