Underclassmen Don’t Belong At Prom

Most of them don’t want to go


As we near the end of the school year, dress shops are becoming crowded, proposals are popping up around the school, and prom tickets are being sold out. Prom is just around the corner, and here at Lincoln High School it’s an event that many have been looking forward to since childhood. As one of the biggest events for high schoolers it’s reserved solely for the upperclassmen: juniors and seniors. Traditionally, freshman and sophomores only attend if their date happens to be an upperclassmen. So should this tradition continue, or should underclassmen be allowed to attend prom?

Prom, short for “promenade,” originated in the early nineteenth century. It started as, “the formal, introductory parading of guests at a party…” but since then has become a mature social activity for teenagers in their final years of high school. Today, it remains a popular tradition for schools across America, and in other countries under different names. 

Recent student interviews reveal how some of the upperclassmen feel about prom. Junior Poppy Wallace said, “I think Prom is a great opportunity to socialize, and it’s something that every high school student dreams about going to since early childhood. I think what makes it special is that it’s just us upperclassmen, so having underclassmen as Prom kind of takes away that exclusivity.” Senior Rista White said, “I like Prom being just a junior and senior tradition because it’s something to look forward to.” Other upperclassmen shared similar statements, explaining that the tradition creates a sense of anticipation and excitement that wouldn’t be the same if the rules were changed.

Student interviews with a few of the underclassmen brought to light some similar answers, but for contrasting reasons. When asked how she felt about prom, sophomore Danielle Tyner said, “I don’t think about prom.” Freshman Tristan Ngyuen said, “I feel like prom is kind of dumb because you’re paying over one hundred dollars for a dance party.” Sophomore Natalie Kenyon said something along the same lines, and explained that because of the cost she would probably wait until senior year to attend. 

Prom is an experience for juniors and seniors to remember for the rest of their lives. For freshman and sophomores, the dance might not hold the same meaning if they were allowed to join any earlier. Compared to the upperclassmen, who have already been through a few years of high school, there wouldn’t be as much celebration or preparation on their part. Because of the traditions surrounding prom and how other students feel about it, underclassmen shouldn’t be allowed to attend such a special event so early in high school.