By SHREYA SHIVAKUMAR, junior
ON THE NIGHT of May 17, 2019, JP seniors made the most of their last months of high school by attending their senior prom at Addison Park. Prom is a rite of passage for every American teenager. Second-semester seniors at JP Stevens, freed from the pressures of college application deadlines and maintaining a perfect GPA, do not feel the academic anxiety that younger JP students face daily— but it isn’t that simple. Many seniors still have to endure hours of standardized testing to pass their last AP exams. For these students, prom night is the light at the end of the tunnel.
In the weeks leading up to prom, seniors planned elaborate promposals to impress their prospective dates. Creative promposal ideas included gifting one’s date a dozen donuts or serenading them with a romantic song on the guitar. Girls placed their dress orders well in advance and planned every accessory and detail of their outfit ahead of time, while guys scrambled to Dante Zeller to rent their tuxes mere days before the occasion. Local hair and nail salons were flooded with a wave of appointments the week before prom, as the senior girls made sure that they had impeccable manicures and their dream look for the event. On the day of, students watched the clocks tick in anticipation until 11:22 a.m. when they were dismissed from school and allowed to attend pre-prom, the critical hours before prom that attendees use to get dressed and take pictures.
“Everybody looked really beautiful, but it took me a couple of hours to get ready.” said senior Kathryn Carlin. After the makeup sessions, hairstyling, and last-minute dress alterations, the seniors were ready to make their grand debut. Girls lined up to showcase their gowns and matching corsages in high-quality pictures in front of the fountain at Addison Park. The seniors took advantage of the natural lighting to fill everyone’s Instagram feeds with “golden hour” photos. This year’s theme was “A Night Under The Stars.” The venue was decorated with glowing lights and colorful balloons. Students showed off their skills on the dance floor as the DJ played the latest hit songs. Even Mrs. Pawlikowski joined in, smiling and laughing with the graduating senior class as they danced the night away. Although prom lasted only a few hours, everyone in attendance made the most of their experience. For most, prom was a chance to have an unforgettable night with their best friends, classmates, and respective dates.
The class council of 2019 put in a lot of hard work and planning this event to make this experience enjoyable for their fellow peers. Numerous fundraisers were held in effort to raise money for prom and lower the cost of the ticket for the attendees. Senior Kathryn Carlin thought that her favorite part was “having fun with [her] boyfriend and friends.” For others, it was a chance to reconnect and spend quality time with old friends before they would head off to different colleges. Senior Chris Chen said that going to prom made him rekindle old friendships and that the “vibrant energy of being able to see everyone from senior class was really amazing.”
A variety of courses were served throughout the night. The appetizers consisted of a salad with a vinaigrette and a side of bread and butter. The entre included chicken parmesan, steaks, prime rib, and a side of potatoes and beans. The three-course meal was concluded with a satisfying dessert of a chocolate fudge brownie topped with vanilla ice cream. An array of drinks were served to the students as well, one of the most popular being the orange and watermelon fizz.
Prom is not only a night to dance one’s heart out, but also a transition from high school to the future. It is a celebration of relationships and friendships that have endured through one’s childhood to their teen years, and will hopefully follow into adulthood. Prom represents the hopefulness that the graduating seniors carry with them as they graduate from JP Stevens and venture out into the real world. Prom is one last night for seniors to spend time with those who shaped their high school experience for one last time before embarking on different paths in their lives.
“Prom was an unforgettable experience because I was able to spend the night with great company!” said junior Jada Kang.
Overall, prom continues to remain a largely decorated event nationwide, and is representative of all the memories senior students have created throughout their high school journey