17 Things No One Ever Tells You About Prom Night

If you’re a senior (or maybe a junior) in high school, then I’m sure you’re already well aware that one of the most magical nights of your high school career is fast approaching. No, I’m not talking graduation… I’m talking about prom, obviously. We all know that prom is supposed to be A Big Night, something we’ll remember forever. It’s supposed to be an evening of beautiful gowns, raucous celebration, and festivities with your closest friends. Prom is a reason to style your hair, have your way more makeup savvy friend give you the perfect smokey eye, and put on your fanciest dress and heels. It’s an occasion to dance to your favorite songs, hang out with your squad, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Maybe it’s even the night you’ll lose your virginity, as Hollywood says.

At least, that’s what you’re lead to believe. Every movie, TV show, book, and nostalgic family member will tell you how amazing prom night is. But what is prom actually like? No one wants to burst the bubble of the “perfect prom,” but the reality is that there are things those rom-coms and older siblings aren’t telling you. Is prom going to be the night you’ll never forget? Maybe, but that might be for less than amazing reasons. Here are 17 things no one ever tells you about prom night that you need to know: 

1. It will not be perfect.

prom sucks

This doesn’t mean it won’t be amazing! But something, at some point in the night, is bound to not go exactly the way you wanted it to. A flower petal might fall off of your corsage, the DJ might not play your favorite song, your shoes will probably hurt like hell, maybe your date will suck. It could be big, it could be small. But it will be something.


2. Someone else might be wearing the same dress, no matter what you do to prevent it. 

ellen dancing matching

Prom is not a “who wore it best” competition. If someone else is wearing the same dress, swallow your disappointment and compliment them! You both clearly have great style. Better yet, it would probably make a great yearbook photo if the two of you pose together. #twinning


3. You don’t have to go with a date date.

janis ian damian lunch

No significant other? No worries. Take your best guy friend, or best girl friend, or your lab partner. Just because it’s prom doesn’t mean you have to go with someone you want to make out with. Everyone makes it seem like a prom date is the most important, but it’s really not. Once you get there, everyone has fun together.


4. Your date might not want to dance.

conga line

Not everyone is comfortable on the dance floor. If your date doesn’t know how to shake it, get groovy with your friends or ask someone else to dance with you. Start a conga line! Don’t miss out on a huge component of prom while your date sits and sips punch.


5. Your teachers probably will dance, and it is definitely weird.

coach new girl line dancing

Prom is one of those nights where your teachers act like actual humans instead of, you know, teachers. It’s strange.


6. Not everyone is having sex after prom, but a lot of people are.

congrats on the sex

Movies and TV shows have lead everyone to believe that prom night is “the night” for hookups. And sure, a lot of couples will be hooking up on prom night… but not everyone does. Most people go out, party, then pass out.


7. It goes by so fast. 


When I think back to my prom, it feels like I got there and then left five minutes later. It was a long night, but it went by SO quickly. Have fun while you can!


8. You should always take more photos than you think.

photos empire

Let your parents take a million pictures of you and your date. Use that selfie stick with your friends. Pose for the yearbook photographer on the dance floor. You won’t regret being able to look back at your prom memories, but you will miss them if you can’t.


9. You will get really sweaty (and so will everyone else)


People are dancing, the room gets hot, everyone sweats. Embrace the inevitable or have backup makeup, face or body wipes, and deodorant tucked in your purse.


10. It’s actually easier not to wear a bra.

rachel friends bra

Prom dresses often require a strange contraption in place of a regular ol’ bra. It’s probably not worth the aggravation. Try on your dress without the silicon inserts, the pasties, the front-hook halter-strap deep-plunge apparatus. As long as you’re not one dance move away from a nip slip, you’ll be a lot more comfortable.


11. Your friends will probably be more fun than your date.

sorry dancers

And that’s totally okay. Enjoy hanging out with your crew!


12. Everyone starts to get really nostalgic. 

sorry sign

It’s the end of the school year, and you’re probably all seniors. Everyone starts to feel pretty bummed out by the end of the night. You’ll all start talking about memories, and before you know it, you’ll forget why you hated most of those people the last four years.


13. Prom king and queen isn’t that big of a deal.

regina george spring fling waving

As Cady Heron says after accepting the crown at the Spring Fling in Mean Girls, “It’s just plastic.” The king and queen will have one dance, then everything will go back to normal.


14. You’ll start to feel sad about high school ending. 


Even if you absolutely hated high school and you’re literally counting down the days until college starts, you will feel sad that it’s ending on prom night. You can’t help it.


15. The limo ride there is really uncomfortable.


Taking a limo? Yeah… it’s not that great. It’s squished, it might make you a little carsick, dresses are everywhere… it’s just not fun.


16. People will make fun of your dress five years down the line, no matter how great it is at the time

kirsten dunst laughing bring it on

Your dress is beautiful, and you look gorgeous. Regardless, you’re going to look back years from now and wonder what you were thinking. Trends will change. Your personal style will change. If you love it now, wear it now!


17. Even if it’s bad, it’s still a nice memory to look back on.

dance celebration

Yes, you might hate your prom. But in the end, you will find some sort of funny story to make the memory worth it.

How do you feel about prom? Are you excited? Did we forget to include anything here? Let me know in the comments.


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