The trick to prom: just stay calm

The 8 phrases of surviving prom


The inner turmoil that happens during prom season is exhausting.

  “I’m not going. I’m going to look fat and ugly and I don’t want to do it.”

  “Do you really not want to go? You look so gorgeous in that dress!”

  Yes, I want to go. But there’s too much to do! How do I make sure my hair, makeup nails, body, dress, shoes, jewelry, and everything else looks perfect?

  The process of prom is one of the most stressful in the world. Some would argue that AP tests or finals are much more difficult, but I think trying to look like a Barbie or princess is nearly impossible.

  At cotillion I looked like Snooki— not quite what I was going for. She is my idol and inspiration, but I didn’t necessarily need her signature hair poof. My hoop earrings didn’t help the look either. I looked like Miss New Jersey 2018.

  This year at junior prom I am determined to upgrade the look, and I don’t mean going from Snooki to JWoww. I want to look like a fairy princess, or at the very least a cute elf. The only thing is, how do I achieve it?

  Phase 1: the dress. The dress is the foundation of every prom look, however attaining the perfect dress is an almost impossible task. The day I went dress shopping I had a plan— get in and get out. I had my game face on as I entered Jay West with my mom. Then I saw it. The first dress in the window. It had to be mine. “That one,” I said to my mom as I ran around the store trying to find a worker. I put on the dress and the heavens opened. It truly was love at first sight. My dress is light purple, slightly cupcake shaped, and simple. There is nothing that describes my style more than this dress. With my dress secured, I was ready to enter the next phase.

Phase 2: shoes and accessories. This step seems easy, but oh it is not. Accessories were actually a piece of cake. The worker who helped me enter the avalanche of toole in my dress picked out elegant earrings and a bracelet— a nice contrast to the gaudy hoop earrings (that I begged for) from the previous year. Shoes on the other hand were a nightmare. Who knew that a size 6 can mean so many different things? I have ordered around 20 pairs of shoes from DSW all in the same size, but they all fit differently. Who made the shoe sizing system? I want to speak to them. I don’t know why I even bothered searching for the perfect shoes, I know I’m going to end up in socks by the end of the night. But, nonetheless, I found my true size 6 heels and we are good to go.

Phase 3: date. No, a girl does not need a date (but I really really want one). I have a couple options, but who do I choose? I ended up asking the same boy I went to cotillion with, because he is one of my best friends and I knew it would be fun. But now how do I explain to my mom that we aren’t dating? And how do I explain that you don’t need to go with your boyfriend? I get it— in olden days you HAD to go with a date and said date HAD to be your boyfriend. But times are changing, mom! I can spend a night dancing with a boy to songs from 2008 without dating him! Now all I have to do is figure out what color bow-tie he should wear.

Phase 4: hair. I have one goal— no Snooki poof. I want my hair to look classy, not New Jersey trashy. But what do I do? Do I follow every girl who has ever gone to prom and get 4 different types of braids in my hair? Do I get bouncy curls or tight curls? Do I wear it the way I do everyday? Too many choices! Too many hours spent on Pinterest! I’ll just make my hairdresser decide.

Phase 5: makeup. As an aspiring makeup artist, this is easily my favorite phase. I did my own makeup for cotillion and have done makeup for my friend’s prom, so I feel good about this step. I’ll just play around the night before, get a rough draft of my look, and everything will work out..hopefully.

Phase 6: to tan or not to tan. I can’t decide between looking like a ghost or an orange. Both will look bad, but what will look better? I tanned for cotillion and I looked more like a cantaloupe than an orange. I guess tanning it is.

Phase 7: don’t panic. I have made all my decisions, I feel good about them, and I am happy. Now all I have to do is stay calm. Easier said than done. The entire week of prom is a catastrophe. My skin is breaking out, I’m panicking about my dress not fitting, I can’t stop stress eating, the only thing I’ve had to drink is coffeeBREATHE. I need to breathe. I need to stop worrying. Nothing can change now. I need to get all these doubts out of my head and just be happy. As they say, fake it till you make it.

Phase 8: love yourself. I look good. Like…really good. My hair is elegant, my makeup is snatched, my tan is glowing, my dress is perfect, and I have never looked better. Maybe all the stress I went through was worth it. I should’ve just trusted myself.