Prom After So Long


Nithi Vanineni

Nithi Vankineni (in the blue) taking a slefie with her friend while waiting for their bus to take them to prom.

The last high school prom was in 2019. While a lot of people were excited about this year’s event, prom also generated a lot of anxiety for students. As always, prom brings about plenty of mixed feelings. Adding the shadow of the pandemic only made those mixed feelings greater.

“I think it was a really nice opportunity to have an event after not having it for so long. That was really nice,” said Deirdre King, a guidance counselor and one of the prom committee members.

“I think in high school, the biggest thing that happens is like all years that come off your life because of the stress,” said Danielle Vundla who also attended prom this year but was not excited as some of the other students.

“I feel like I don’t know what to be excited about, you know?” Vundla said. “Everyone gets excited about different things for different reasons. I’d love to be excited but I’m just not.”

The pandemic looms for students regardless of how they feel about prom more generally.

“For some people, it’s a big event, it can cause some anxiety. Being around a lot of people and still amidst Covid can be challenging” King said.

“I think it was probably really individualized, but I think that that’s probably the case Covid or not,” King added. “There’s always going to be some people who are going to be really excited for prom and some that, it feels either too much or really anxiety-provoking.”

Nithi Vankineni, another student who attended prom this year, was excited but also understood why some students might not be as enthusiastic.

“I think a lot of people are very obviously exhausted because of Covid, and maybe they might see prom as just another thing. That may cause exhaustion or something. They have to do because it’s the norm,” Vankineni said.

“People maybe wouldn’t be excited just because you know AP exams are right around the corner. To them those are more important than prom,” she added.

Vankineni also has exams coming up but she did not let that stress stop her from having a good time at the event.

“I still want to enjoy prom, ‘cause it’s a once in a lifetime kind of thing,” Vankineni said.

After such a long time without a big in-person event, having prom felt good for several students and staff alike. Ms. King played a major role in planning the event and was present during the night. She saw a lot of positives that came out of prom.

“I’m sure it was still mixed with some nerves and anxiety, depending on the night or Covid, but I feel like there were a lot of people you could see having fun. I’d say that was meaningful to be able to kind of watch that in action,” King said.

The event started slowly with most people roaming around the venue. Once students got more comfortable, after an hour or so, more and more people began to flood the dancefloor. The atmosphere on the dancefloor became filled with the kind of energy of any prom regardless of the pandemic.

“Because of Covid,  most people are excited to come together as a big group. Because this might be a lot of people’s first get-together [in a while],” Vankineni said.