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What is prom all about, anyway?


The University of New Hampshire’s Girl Up UNH, an organization that works with the United Nations (UN) Foundation to fund programs for girls in developing nations, invited students to partake in Prom 2.0 in the Memorial Union Building (MUB) Strafford Room on Friday, April 12. All the money raised through selling $3 tickets went to the UN. 

I have never had a prom. Due to a series of coincidences, I have never officially graduated from either of the 2 high schools I went to. Having been raised in Europe, I am only familiar with the concept of a prom from American movies and TV shows, so I had virtually no expectations for the event. Because who bases their life expectations on American media? 

If I had, however, believed everything that is on TV, I would have expected a number of certain things. Prom is a dance in the end of a school year where everyone dresses fancy, that much makes sense. You have to “prompose” to someone. Somebody spikes the punch. Someone deals drugs. Even though the alcohol is not allowed, everyone is drunk. The prom king and queen – the boy from a sports team and “the popular girl” – are chosen, and it always goes terribly wrong. Some sort of public humiliation is involved. It finishes with a girl, crying outside, probably barefoot. 

Some of these things turned out to be pretty close to the truth (sounds like a lot of bad happened). 

I was jokingly promposed to by a friend. Being always in for an adventure, I said yes. Besides, I will take any opportunity to wear a suit, so check on dressing fancy. On the night, myself, my prom date and four of our friends showed up dressed in suits and dresses to find a shockingly small number of people in the Strafford Room. That must be because we were there on time, because about half an hour later, it became hard to dance without accidentally pushing people. 

No punch was involved–just soda, an assortment of candy and Domino’s and Subway takeout (donated to the organization). There was no usual party atmosphere of drunkenness, just people dancing and trying to talk over loud pop music. The most impressive part, probably, was people coordinating to dance to “Cotton Eye Joe.” In my opinion, this is one of the best parts of American culture. 

Out of all the stereotypes, the only remaining one was barefoot girls. No crying, though, just people having fun unburdened by the nightmare that are high heels.  

For good or for bad, Prom 2.0 did not live up to the media stereotypes. In the end, it was a fun event to spend a Friday evening at with a group of friends – and a great excuse to wear something fancy, and raise money for the UN. 

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