First time prom questions answered


Briana Turcotte

Prom expert Briana Turcotte poses before the last prom she attended in 2017 before she graduated.

Emily Bauman, Staff Reporter

Prom is most likely going to be the most important event of my high school career. In the movies everyone gets dressed up, takes pictures and walks into a well decorated room and dances the night away under the flashing mood lights. But if I were to compare high school experiences to the expectations I’ve gained from movies, it’s safe to say this idea of prom is not not exactly what’s going to happen. So what, as a first time prom attendee, do have to expect? I set out to figure out everything about prom as possible in the short time before it happens.

With prom being set for 8 pm on April 14, my preparations first started with finding a dress.  I figured that if I needed time to shop and maybe get alterations I would need time. I started about 4 weeks before prom looking for my dress, to do so I needed to figure out what kind of dress I was looking for.

I went straight to google to answer this question, typing in: “what kind of dress should to I wear to prom?”. Simple question, complicated answer. I knew at West most wear long dresses, but thanks to and their prom dress style quiz, I was able to find out exactly what kind of dress I needed to get.

Shopping for a dress in Bloomington-Normal was hopeless, our mall can’t stay in business so prom dress stores stand no chance. Champaign, Peoria, and Chicago were all recommended places to take prom dress shopping sprees after our town turned up dry.

So once I had a dress with the guidance from online stores, I started to worry. In the movies everyone went with a date; my problem was I didn’t have one and wasn’t going to get one. So I stressed a little, but then texted my friend Ana Marin who graduated from Normal West in 2017 and ask if going solo was going to attract the wrong kind of attention.

Ana recommended not worrying so much about having a date and to focus on finding a good group of friends who also wanted to go without dates. Apparently, going with friends was more important (and maybe more fun) than having just one date. I checked the date worries off my list of questions, but I still had some more concerns.

My prom group consists of eight girls and 1 boy (one of us managed to get a promposal), but now what? I wanted everything to be perfect leading up to prom, so I pestered Briana Turcotte with all my questions.

Briana, who also graduated in 2017, went to prom three times and had the whole event down pat. She recommended finding a restaurant that is near where you want to take pictures and also near the venue so you don’t get stuck driving around town or being late. She also said not to worry too much about pictures and dinner and if the group is small enough, meet at someone’s house and order takeout to alleviate all the stress that dinner and pictures sometimes generates.

With all my before prom questions answered, I was still left wondering what am I in for when I walk into prom.  I asked Emily Hartman, who as a freshman went to prom, what to expect. She said, “when you walk in you will be greeted with decoration, sparkly lights, photobooths (all matching the theme) and of course lots of room for dancing”.

I want prom to be the best it can be, and now with all my questions asked and answered, I know exactly what to expect at prom. It might not be like the movies, but it sure will be a night that goes down in my high school history.