As Prom season arrives, juniors and seniors are planning the perfect promposals, picking out outfits and going about Prom court preparations… just like they did earlier this year for Homecoming.
Homecoming (or Prom) court is an event used to name active students in the school community and award them for their spirit, and those who are chosen to participate in either of the courts are typically well-known, well-rounded individuals who immerse themselves in school activities. The courts provide a perfect platform to make students feel appreciated for their selfless work at school and hopefully even inspire others to start taking similar courses of action.
Too many people are content to fight over whether or not Prom and Homecoming are popularity contests—long story short, they are. We must drop the negativity surrounding the word ‘popularity’ because it is solely a synonym to describe more involved individuals. However, it does not make any student more or less valuable to our school. Prom is not about seeing which students are “better” than others but it is about appreciating the students who have gone above and beyond what was expected of them. Everyone is of equal importance, but those who dedicate an additional amount of time to sports, clubs or other school events should be and are rewarded for their school spirit during pep rallies and dances.
And without meaning to undermine the importance of Prom or Homecoming, you should know that there are much better things to turn into competitions than a title awarded at a high school dance. We, as students on our way to college, should be focusing on extracurriculars like clubs, sports or academic competitions for future college applications, but should also be removing stress from activities we enjoy, like school dances. While dances are fun things for students to participate in, they should never take full control of our attention. There are many things we should invest ourselves in, but a title from a school dance should not be at the top of that list.
The end of the semester should not put students down or make them feel like they are competing, but instead push them to do better the following year, which is consistently misunderstood at West. Stereotypes like this are what cause tension in real life, where instead of an aggressive “winner-takes-all” situation, it’s supposed to be friends having a good time together at a dance.
In order to be included in our Homecoming or Prom courts you must be nominated through the tables set up in the cafeteria a few weeks before the dance or online with Infinite Campus. At these tables, which are run by volunteer parents, students are able to vote with the grade levels able to participate depending on whether it is Homecoming or Prom. Who is or is not on the court is completely up to the student body, providing a fair opportunity to everyone wishing to participate in these seasonal dances. By giving students complete freedom in choosing their court, everyone is given the same chance to vote or be voted for.
And if being a part of our school’s court is important to you, here is what you can look forward to winning: a crown (size and color may vary) and bragging rights. Both of these seem like pretty cool awards, although the latter may last a tad longer, but just remember, if or when you participate, that what matters is the experience and that you were recommended by your peers to be titled Prom or Homecoming royalty.
In the end, you should be looking at these dances as opportunities to see yourself and your classmates being honored for your work in our community. Push yourself to become increasingly involved in school clubs, sports or any other extracurricular activities to make the most of your time in high school.