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Published January 30th, 2013
Prom Planning: Is it too Early?
Two Miramonte teens express their opposing opinions about preparing for prom night.
By Youngjoo Ahn and Caie Kelley
Margot Odell (left) and Caroline Colwell (right) found the perfect prom dresses for last year's big night.

Yes, early prom preparation is necessary.
Before I was actually a high school student, I thought high school would be the most glamorous time of my life. In my imagination, I would be eating lunch off campus, driving to school, decorating my own locker with tons and tons of photos, but most importantly I would be going to prom. As I walked in on the first day of high school, I soon found that Miramonte prevented off campus activities with a security camera and that the locker I would be having for the next four years was not poster friendly. No one told me about the stress of tests, homework, or finals either. However, one dream still remains in my fantasy high school life: prom.
In the childhood movies I watched about high school, prom night was the biggest event ever. In freshman and sophomore year, my friends and I were already thinking about our dresses because we all wanted that perfect night. Even if prom isn't the memory of a lifetime when else do teenage girls have the chance to try on tens or maybe even hundreds of different dresses in search for "perfect"?
As I was nonchalantly skimming Facebook recently, I was added to a new group called "Junior Prom dresses!" At Miramonte High School, prom takes place on March 23 and it seemed a bit silly that a group came together with over 157 members in early January to encourage positive feedback and helpful suggestions. Initially I was shocked, however, after thinking about it, I began to realize how smart it is to plan ahead. Just as studying for finals isn't achieved in an hour or a day, dress shopping takes time, patience, and endless searching.
I ordered my dress after being motivated by the Facebook page. After hearing that I already ordered my dress, a friend said, "I'm not even going to think about buying a dress until at least February. Why start the dress stress now?" However, by buying a dress early, I no longer have the burden that procrastinators carry. Dress shopping only becomes more stressful as prom night approaches. Stores often run out of sizes and dress design websites post "out of stock" messages. "Beggars can't be choosers and why be the beggar?" another friend remarked when she too ordered her dress online. I'm sure Caie will agree that having to wear a last choice dress because of last minute shopping is no way to celebrate this special occasion.
In the midst of stressful high school lives, reducing even one source of pressure counts. It's never too early to buy a prom dress and it's never too early to organize your life.
No, early prom preparation is not necessary.
Don't get me wrong, I am like most teenage girls. I have been hearing about this glorious night called "prom" for a very long time, either through television shows, movies, or the subtly titled Disney film, "Prom." I look forward to it with excitement - and a little bit of fear. At the beginning of January, a new Facebook group popped up on my newsfeed: "Junior Prom dresses!"
It was a place for us to post what we were wearing, so that we could receive other's opinions, encouragement, and prevent any awkward "twin dress" situations, with two girls in the same outfit on that night. Within a couple hours, more than 15 of my peers had published their prom plans, and I will admit I began to worry, searching online for a dress of my own. After all, early planning is smart, especially during a stressful junior year. But we had just returned from winter break, and prom was a quarter of a year away. Is it necessary to prepare for prom this early? Youngjoo will disagree with me, but I vote no.
Prom is at the end of March. Most of us are so busy with school, sports, and other extracurricular activities that finding a "perfect dress" and making sure everything is ready months before the date actually approaches can be a source of stress. More importantly, there is still plenty of time to prepare, and energy is better spent focusing on the day-to-day rather than on a distant dance.
Furthermore, the hype that builds up around prom already makes it so that the night has some serious standards to live up to. As one friend explained, "I know I shouldn't, but I want prom to be that magical night we've watched on TV since we were kids. The right dress, the right hair, the makeup - how often do we get to go all out like this in high school?" She has a point, but there is still no use in worrying and dreaming about a day that is so far away.
As one of my classmates exclaimed when she saw the Facebook group, "I'm having an anxiety attack just thinking about this - we still have finals! How can I worry about a dance?" For many high school girls, planning early is important. But for the sake of those who are not quite as on top of it, maybe we should hold off on the Facebook groups and discussions until at least February?
Active and involved Miramonte juniors, Caie Kelley and Youngjoo Ahn are officers of Club Be the Star You Are!(r) as well as co-hosts/reporters on Express Yourself!(tm) Teen Radio. ?

Caie Kelley and Matt Coupin check out the corsage and boutonni?e Photos provided
Teen Scene is YOUR voice. If you have something to say or have writing skills and want to be part of our Teen Scene team, email our Teen Coach, Cynthia Brian, Cynthia@CynthiaBrian.com.

The opinions expressed in Teen Scene are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Lamorinda Weekly.
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