Junior prom makes dreams come true

Welks poses for a picture perfect moment with her friend.
Jelks poses for a picture perfect moment with her friend.    Photo by Lauren Jelks

As I became a junior this year, there were a few experiences I expected, like stressing over classes, calling myself an upperclassmen, getting ready for college, and dancing the night away at prom. Now out of all of these, I think you can guess which one I was most excited for: my first formal dance.

Don’t get me wrong; winterball, you try hard. But nothing beats the feeling of going into Move Over Princess and finally having a reason to try on the long glamorous dresses. Even as I basked in the awesomeness of winterball, prom was on my mind. I thought over all the cliches I had heard and seen in movies, because, if there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that prom is the most cliche night of our high school career.

Who’s going to spike the punch? Which couples are going to break up? Who is going to cry in the bathroom? Which two best friends who always had romantic tension were  going to find each other on the dance floor, look into each other’s eyes, and finally decide they were in love?

Needless to say, I was curious, excited, stressed, and nostalgic. With prom so close, I was reminded of the eight year old Lauren who watched every high school movie she could get her hands on, wishing to be prom queen.

Between my daydreams about how life would, for one night, be like a movie, I shopped for my prom dress, shoes, accessories and every little thing. My dad drove me to Trudy’s in San Jose, where I was able to find my dream dress (periwinkle with diamond band around the waist) in just over an hour. Next, I had to get my shoes (Payless) and subsequently get my dress hemmed (Dori Anne Veils).  After that, I had to make my hair and makeup appointments (Rae Talbot Salon for some semi permanent makeup eyebrows), while trying to figure out what hair and makeup I wanted. Finally, I had to plan out what group I was going with, and above all, who my date would be.

And so, after eight weeks of spending, planning, and stressing, the Junior Class gathered at the Treasure Island Event Center, and got ready to boogie. Inside, a live band played lively jazz music, a chocolate fountain beckoned, an (alcohol-free) bar clinked, and a DJ made the bass drop hard. During those four hours inside, surrounded by my classmates, I didn’t have a care in the world.

The music was great, the perfect mixture of current hits and rap that got people moving (they even played three slow songs). The ladies looked like a million bucks and the guys looked like they walked out of a catalogue. I saw so many people I cared about, all under one roof, all here as a sort of declaration. “Hey, this is the epitome of high school memories, and we’re here together. Besides the Freshman Dance and Graduation, this is one of the only times that we, as a class, come together for one special day.”

In the end, there wasn’t one thing I would change. My date was fabulous, grabbing me water whenever I got hot and politely putting up with my terrible dancing. All the friends I saw who I hugged and exchanged compliments warmed my heart. Maybe the punch wasn’t spiked, and I didn’t see any cliche love stories, but I do know that there is a reason prom is such a big event in high school. It’s the one celebration of the fact that here we are, getting ready to be seniors, celebrating our junior year, and making memories, together.

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