Going to Senior Prom, Costs What?

This prom dress costs more than $1,000.

By CHAZ PLAGER

It’s almost the month of May, and alongside the usual headaches of tests, college, and graduation plans, something big for Pali High seniors to look forward to remains: arguably the most important part of the year, senior prom.

Many seniors are currently in the midst of frantic preparations, buying dresses, finding dates, planning transportation, and performing elaborate “promposals” in the hopes of showing off their date to the world.

Many seniors yes, but not all, and far less than you’d expect. While the specifics are unbeknownst to this writer, out of 50 seniors interviewed, 14 said they had no plans to attend, 29 said they had plans, and 7 were unsure. These numbers obviously should not be taken as hard science but considering that all seniors asked had nothing in common, this is very surprising.

So, why aren’t kids going to prom? Based on interviews with seniors who said no, these seem to be the three most prominent reasons: cost, venue location and better parties elsewhere.

Prom Is Too Expensive

I would like all the adults currently reading this article to think back on their senior prom. How much did your tickets cost? Did you pay for your date? How much is it worth in today’s money? Once you’ve found your answer, brace yourself, because a ticket to prom at Pali this year costs $150.

Adding together a prom outfit (tux rental $210), taking your date out to dinner, transportation, and other costs (hair and nails for girls – and the obligatory corsage), seniors will be looking at a bill in the $300-$400 range.

“I just don’t have that kind of money,” one senior said. “I’d rather just go out to eat with my friends while whining about the fact that we’re all single. Of course, if I had someone to go with, this would change.”

Some seniors from low-income backgrounds like Wilson Jones have access to the PaliCares program, which offers tickets at a reduced price. Pali is also holding a competition for the most extravagant promposal, the lucky winners of which will be gifted two free tickets. Wilson also attempted to enter this competition with his friend, Clara. “You gotta do what you gotta do,” he said.

Prom Is Too Far

After an unfortunate closedown of a venue Pali had picked out earlier this year, a mad scramble for a new venue forced Pali faculty to move prom this year to Union Station in downtown LA. Assuming that a Pali student lives in the Palisades, this means that they will have to drive one hour and 20 minutes to the venue, assuming no traffic. Either the student will endure the drive (which will almost certainly be closer to two hours given traffic), take the train (Do you want to take the train to prom and back in Los Angeles?), or take some sort of Uber or purchase a limo, which will add to the mounting costs of the event. Some students are organizing “party buses” where a professional driver will take the seniors to the prom in a bus or van, while the seniors party in the back.

“Look, all I’m saying is that I don’t wanna drive there either,” senior Jay’ce remarked. “But you gotta be crazy if you think I’m getting on a bus full of kids like that. They’re drug testing you before you go in, I’m not trying to smell like weed.”

 

Prom Isn’t “Lit” Enough

This one is a less common reason, but one I saw mentioned enough to mention here. There’s been a recent boom at the “party market” of Pali High. Students will covertly set up large parties, charge entry fees, and make money while having a great time.

After prom, one of the most exciting nights of the year, is the existence of “after-prom parties.” So, the obvious question becomes “how can we monetize this?”

Some party moguls are planning to charge upwards of $100 as entry fees for an after party. And why wouldn’t they? The idea is very appealing. After sitting around in a stuffy gym with adults watching you, what better way to cut loose than drink the night away and dance your heart out in some unsanctioned fun?

It’s at this point you may have an amazing idea. If going to prom is so stuffy and boring, why not just skip it and go to the after-prom? That’s an idea many seniors have had.

“I just can’t imagine going to a party and not drinking or smoking,” one senior complained. “What are we gonna do, pay a hundred bucks to sit around and talk? I’m getting f***ed up. Yes sir.”

This is a really sad thing to say. Best not to take this viewpoint too seriously.

After reading this whole article, you may have a burning question. The writer of this article is a senior at Pali, right? Is he going to prom? Possibly with a hot date? That question will have to wait until May 18, where this writer will cover senior prom and possibly give eager readers a glimpse into their extremely interesting personal life. Please look forward to it.

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