It's prom season for high school juniors and seniors and I wanted to address a common issue with this so called "right of passage." Though not often acknowledged, it’s a fact that some people don’t like school dances and find it a waste of time. This includes prom. My senior class happens to be small, and none of us are interested in prom whatsoever. There’s a variety of reasons as to why students don’t show up to prom or don’t even bother organizing one. For example, maybe you have no one to go with, you can’t afford a prom dress or fancy suit, your class or school can’t afford to organize a prom or you just really hate dancing. Whatever your reasons for not wanting a prom, that doesn't mean you can't have fun! You're finishing high school! Celebrate! There are alternatives that can be just as memorable as prom, whether it is organized for just you and your group of friends, or for the entire class. This list is a compilation of the options my fellow senior classmates have pondered and those that I thought would be interesting. In the end, my class went with camping, but the list contains options for a variety of interests and geographic locations.
1. Go camping.
Camping means you get a weekend away from home with your friends before you all go out and do your own thing. Depending on where you go camping, you could swim, rent kayaks, go biking or just chill by the warm fire with marshmallows and music. Also, camping is an alternative that provides you or your class with a variety of options because you don't necessarily have to stick around in one location. If you're getting sick of socializing or being around a lot of people, you can take off and wander the campgrounds with your own crowd. Let's not forget the fact that you can be in comfortable clothes and you don't have to spend a fortune to look good. What makes camping so memorable? It's the atmosphere; surrounded by nature, away from all the busy noise of the city, sitting by a campfire underneath the night sky. It calls for deep and reflective conversation with your friends. It's bittersweet, but that's the reality of it. Why cover up the truth with prom? At prom everyone has to smile and act like this transition doesn't phase them. Going camping, you don't have to hide.
2. Go to a restaurant.
Everyone likes food: go to a restaurant! Preferably a buffet so you can stuff your face and celebrate this milestone in your life. Even better, if there's a restaurant that you've passed a thousand times in town and you've always told yourself "I got to go in there and try it," and you never did, now is the time, my friend! Now is the time.
3. Rent a beach house.
This is an option if most of your classmates aren't interested in prom and if you live in areas that have beaches. Otherwise, it can be costly. If your class pitches in to rent a beach house and order some pizza, you have an awesome place to stay for a night. Everyone can bring their blow-up mattresses and sleeping bags, or fight over the few beds available. Then you can go hang out at the beach and throw a party in the beach house: you get the best of both worlds! When my class of thirteen was debating this option, we had found out that if each of us put aside around forty dollars, we could afford a decent beach house for a weekend. So, if this alternative interests you, look up different beach houses for rent online and discuss budgeting with your class.
4. Go to a concert.
You know the money you were going to spend to get a dress or a suit, to rent a fancy limo or to pay for the hall rental? You can instead be spending it to see your favorite musician, live. Even if they aren't coming to a city near you at the time of your school's prom – even if they're coming a month or two afterwards – at least you and your buddies can say you've been to an awesome concert where you got to yell and dance.
5. Go to an amusement park.
I live decently close to Canada's Wonderland, which is a huge amusement park with two HUGE roller coasters: the Behemoth and the Leviathan. My school normally organizes a trip to Canada's Wonderland at the end of each year, and we go for a day. If your school doesn't do stuff like this and you like amusement parks, or have never been to one, consider taking a trip to the nearest park. I think the reason why "amusement park" is an alternative is pretty self-explanatory in its title.
6. Have a night on the town.
If you live in a big city, I bet you haven't seen all of it, even if you think you have. Before you or your friends leave for college, go out and explore! Take a car and just drive. Look around and whatever catches your eye, check it out! Go watch a movie, check out interesting stores before they close up and park your car somewhere outside of town where you could just talk with your friends and look at the scenery. Best of all, you don't need to worry about dressing up, spending all of your money or planning weeks in advance: it's all spontaneous. That's what makes it so memorable! Spontaneity means you aren't thinking of what people think of you, so you are being the truest version of you with your friends. You'll feel free!
7. Go paintballing or laser-tagging.
Look up locations online and book a day with your friends to go paintballing or laser-tagging. You can make it a simple fun day or you could plan it by dividing your class into teams and having objectives and goals set in place to win. This is a good alternative if you have a mixed class: those who spend their time playing first-person shooter video games and those who spend their time playing sports.
8. Go to a park.
No, not the kid kind. Unfortunately, we're too old for those now. I'm talking about the open field parks. Bring music, barbecue foods and activities like frisbee, water balloons and soccer. Have fun in the sun with your classmates! What's not to like about that? And, if you really want to be a kid, then have your class pitch in to rent a bouncy house or different blow-up activities like "The Human Bowling Ball."
9. Go to a water park or have a pool party.
Waterslides? Wave pools? It sounds like a blast. You can go to an outdoor water park or an indoor water park. In fact, some water parks are part of a resort, meaning you can pay to get an all-access wristband to everything from the water park, to the arcade, to the live entertainment. If you and your friends or classmates don't live near a water park and don't want to bug your parents for the car, then consider having a pool party! Maybe you have a pool or your friend does. If that isn't an option, then maybe your class can pitch in to rent out a pool facility for the day!
10. Film everything!
This alternative can be applied to every single other alternative here. Use a Go Pro, video camera or a cell phone and film away to catch all of those funny, sad, happy and exciting moments with your friends and classmates while you go to an amusement park or go camping. Also, you can compile any relevant questions and ask them to your friends while video taping them to get their commentary. Then, you can stitch the footage together, using an editing software and BAM! you have a memorable vlog or mini-movie that you can send to everyone, put on a USB or burn on a CD. Imagine having your kid come across the CD or USB in a storage box, decades after high school, and ask what it is. This is why you should do this.
There you have it, a few ideas for you and your friends if you'd rather skip out on prom! Do you have any other cool or interesting prom alternatives? Let us know on social media at #FreshUpromalternatives.
Lead Image Credit: Alacia Michaud