by Paige K. Mitchell
For New Pittsburgh Courier

No matter how old you are, and regardless if your prom was this year or 50 years ago, I want you to stop for a moment and think about how romantic or stressful the night was for you. Did that particular day go by smoothly, or was it a headache? Was it one of the best days of your life, or a day you would love to forget? If you could turn back the hands of time, would you do it all over again, and what would you do differently?


Prom is a special occasion that comes around once a year or once in a lifetime for most, and is extremely important to teenage high school students. Prom is an elegant, classy affair where all the students must dress the part and look their best. Being a part of such a positive sophisticated crowd, and environment is the nicest part. Alisha Williams from Oliver High School says, “I have been to two proms, and enjoyed both of them very much! It was a night of pure magic I will never forget.” Prom should be a day that should be cherished in a person’s heart. Life is all about the memories, and the good times engraved in our mind. Donneisha Brown of Allderdice says, “I’m not going to lie, the days leading up to prom, and the process of getting ready for it was long and stressful. But when the day of prom actually came, everything seemed worth it!”

I, myself, have personally been to three different proms, which were; Gateway 2008, Wilkinsburg 2008, and Penn Hills 2009. I had a fantastic time at all three, but I wish my senior prom at Penn Hills was better. I had just got accepted into the college I wanted to attend, a week before prom so I was more than excited. So at that point I knew I was going to have the time of my life, but it wasn’t as spectacular as I expected. I still won’t complain too much, because I did have a very nice time sharing my last moments with my classmates. I wouldn’t trade any moment I shared for anything.

Parris Mollett of Allderdice says, “The best part of the whole prom experience was having everyone surround you at the line-up. All I can remember is cameras flashing from every direction, and feeling like a movie star.” Shelley Tunstalle of Brashear says, “The first time I looked in the mirror, all I could do was smile. I look amazing, and I felt so beautiful.”

Yes, prom is a beautiful experience, but it can become very costly trying to find that beautiful look. Girls definitely end up spending more money on prom than the males. These young women have to buy dresses, shoes, accessories, hand bags, make-up, and go to a hair salon to get their hair done. The young men, on the other hand get to rent a tuxedo. Males only need one stop for prom attire because they can purchase their shoes, vest, tie, and practically anything else they desire in a tuxedo shop. A hair cut is no more than $15, the males have it easy. The best part is everything can be returned the next morning when prom is over. Girls end up being stuck with all the expensive items they bought for that one night, and most of the time never put on the dress or jewelry again. Teevou Goodwin of Penn Hills says, “My mother spent some where around $800 for my prom, and my dress was the most expensive part. I love my dress so much, I wish I had somewhere to wear it again. But prom was better than I thought it was going to be, I loved it!”

Some girls get their prom dresses designed into the way they want it to look. Chakeia Morton of Peabody says, “My grandmother knows how to design clothing, and she also taught me. We both helped design my prom dress. It took months, and I was nervous because I was scared it wasn’t going to come out the way I wanted it to. Me, and my talents ended up pulling a gorgeous dress together.” Some young ladies often have a hard time choosing dresses, because of taking the risk of having the same exact dress as someone else. Tasia Scott of Wilkinsburg says, “Showing up to your senior prom with the same exact dress as someone else is a prom disaster! It’s a nightmare!” Alexis Johnson of Penn Hills says, “A prom nightmare I had was choosing my date. I’m a basketball player, so I’m pretty tall. So I needed a taller prom date. I wanted to look nice, and its hard finding a cute tall guy.”

Enough about the young women’s point of view about the ups and downs of prom, let’s get some young men’s take on the whole experience. Cullen Christian of Penn Hills says, “I wasn’t too thrilled about the whole prom thing at first. I could care less for it, but when the day of prom actually came, I was overwhelmed! Prom was one of the best days of my life! Me and my friends had the best time, and I looked cleaner than Mr. Clean himself.” Shawn Brisker of Gateway says, “Prom was cool, I would do it again.” Davon Dixon of Woodland Hills says, “The best part of the night was having that special girl on my arm, and the excitement of pulling up in front of all those people. All eyes were on me, looking fly.”

Overall, no matter how much you spent, what car you drove, or who your date was; all that mattered in the end was if you enjoyed yourself. Who cares if you didn’t buy the designer dress you may have wanted, or you didn’t have enough to get the shoes you wanted. Maybe your parents were more stressed than you, and were stressing you out., or your hair style or hair cut didn’t turn out right. Just remember, there are certain times in a person’s life that you must live it up and do all that you can to make the experience the best one. Life is all what you make it, so never let minor problems become a major set back. You can only enjoy your senior prom once, and if that goal was achieved than you should let those memories live on forever.

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