Courtesy of Michelle Pham
Prom night. Immortalized in every teen coming of age movie, the event is filled with sparkling dresses, impeccable catered food, and an unforgettable party.
This, unfortunately, was not the case for the Class of 2020.
With coronavirus closing schools indefinitely, seniors lost the huge party and fancy group photos. However, some people made the best of the situation at home.
Making use of digital platforms and social media, senior Michelle Pham held a virtual prom with her close friends over Facebook Messenger.
“On the day that we were supposed to have our prom, a few of my friends and I decided we still wanted to celebrate our special day together,” Pham said. “So, we all got dressed up and took pictures at our houses separately and then did a video call on Messenger together.”
Senior Michelle Song had a similar celebration, but in a “get ready with me” format.
“We decided on a time and started doing our hair and makeup together over the [Discord] call with some music in the background,” Song said. “Then once we were all done we changed into our dresses and just talked.”
For Song, the glamour and anticipation surrounding prom broke the monotony of quarantine and gave her a sense of normalcy for the end of high school.
“Especially during quarantine, I spend a lot of time just in running shorts and various school T-shirts and sweatshirts, so it was exciting to get glammed up and pull myself out of my dull routine of sleeping, eating, and Netflix,” Song said.
While it was not a perfect solution for the highly anticipated event, Pham found that virtual prom was the best substitution for the situation.
“Prom was the senior tradition that we had been looking forward to for four years, so we didn’t want to completely lose that. Given the circumstances, having a small virtual prom with my closest friends seemed like the best way to celebrate,” Pham said.” Of course having a virtual prom was nowhere near what we expected our senior prom to be like, but I think we made the best out of the situation.”
Even so, the shortcomings of prom left Song with some regrets.
“Oftentimes during my first 3.5 years of high school, I would tell myself I would hang out with my friends more and go to more school events once I was a second semester senior,” Song said. “However, I learned from this experience that I should make the best of every semester, instead of trying to jam it all in to a small period of time.”
Nevertheless, both seniors found that the experience was bettered not by the venue or the party, but by the people they shared it with.
“I would say that the factors that define the prom experience are making memories and having fun with friends that make you happy,” Pham said. “While it would have been nice to have the infinite pictures and big dance, I’m glad that I got to spend what would’ve been my prom night with the people who have stuck by me for the past four years.”