It all starts months in advance. When the infamous “Paly Prom Dress” group hits the collective Facebook-sphere of Palo Alto High School females, the focus immediately shifts to Prom. As the days grow closer, students find a new source of entertainment, watching others parade through the Quad wearing costumes, walking dogs, singing songs or carrying a punny sign, all in the hopes of finding the perfect Prom date. The buildup to Prom seems so drastic and long that there is no way one singular night could be as magical as we make it out to be. But the cynics are sadly mistaken. As we flaunt our dresses and tuxes, heels and cummerbunds, dancing the night away, creating the perfect cliche high school moment, it’s as if we are living in “High School Musical” for the night, until we get back to Palo Alto and the film we seem to be living in switches to something more like “Back to the Future” and “Napoleon Dynamite.”
Don’t take this as another drug and alcohol warning, something to be ignored and joked about.
We are not going to argue that drug or alcohol use is a practice high schoolers should not partake in. Rather, we want students to go out and have a fun, memorable night with their peers, friends and love interests; instead of focusing on using and abusing substances.
Obviously, there is no way for us to convince you all that drinking, doing drugs and having sex is wrong and should no way take place during the time post-Prom; we want you to make smart decisions that you will happy with for the rest of your life.
According to a Huffington Post article by Carleton Kendrick, teen drinking and alcohol-related car accident rates increase considerably on Prom night. Furthermore, a spike in the amount of teenage sex generally occurs the night of the high school Prom.
With these facts in mind, we want to ask all the Paly Prom goers to consider this: do you really want to waste away a classic high school moment by drinking into a state of oblivion? Do you really wish to erase all the memories of this one night by partaking in illegal activities where you or one of your friends could face true danger? Even though this night has been built up for months, we shouldn’t let drinking, drug-use or sexual activities mar the experience.
So Paly, we ask you to make smart decisions, and remember to focus on the glittering memories of this special night. Don’t let the excitement of dressing up and dancing the night away be overruled by an unexpected trip to the emergency room. Treat the night just like any other, Prom is not an excuse to get wasted, it’s an opportunity for us all to have a great night out together, a night that we’ll never forget.