HHS Prom: Then and Now


Photo by Elyse Pereira.

Hadley demonstrates simple prom ask

In the middle of the most popular prom proposal month, students recognize the tendency of prom asks to become more extravagant each year. From notes passed in class to bouquets and clever puns, HHS prom asks have become more dramatic.

“Honestly, I don’t really remember [prom asks] being a ‘thing’. It was much more low key and not a huge part of my whole prom scene,” HHS 2006 graduate and science teacher Kristen Murphy said.

“I think over the years people have gotten much crazier with their prom asks. In the past couple of years, juniors have dropped banners down the senior balcony and pulled their date over in a cop car with a related pun on a poster to go with it,” senior Chris Hadley said.

Prom, an event in the month of May, has developed into a multi month process for a one night affair. According to Hopkinton High School juniors, one of the more important aspects to develop over the years has been the search for a dress and the ask to prom itself.

Junior girls begin dress shopping in the month of January, around the time the first prom proposals occur. The overall stresses for the dance have grown.

“We had some stress about what limo to ride in or what color your dress was, but never had the whole Facebook dress group share or as much focus on the ask,” Murphy said.

“Most people asked each other to prom without many of the current theatrics. It was mostly a simple question posed to the other person in a relatively normal setting,” HHS 2008 graduate and history teacher Brian Prescott said.

Prescott amongst many others, believe the change in prom asks has happened due to the growth of use of social media apps for high school students.

“Without social media, we did not really have much incentive to create overly elaborate demonstrations,” Prescott said.

Students often post pictures of how they were asked online, trying to gain attention for an over-the-top ask. Online sources such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Vsco provide a large inspiration for new, exciting ideas.

“The most outrageous prom ask I have heard of is someone paying a skywriter to write “prom?” for his date,” Sisitsky said.

“People really try to impress their date, on top of getting them to say yes, so it adds an additional layer of stress to the process,” Hadley said.

Photo: Sisitsky Profile
Photo by Elyse Pereira.
Sisitsky Profiles

Prescott asked his date in a simple manner, typing out “Will you go to prom with me?” on her phone, which was considered a creative idea for his time.

After ten years of change, for an idea to be thought of as creative, it must be much more elaborate.

“I asked my girlfriend to prom by going to into Boston. I first asked her in a photo booth. Then we came back and I gave her flowers and a poster with a photo booth related pun on it after we got off the train,” junior Evan Sisitsky said.

Current students recall most of the prom asks that have occurred in recent years with the flashiness of them in their minds. Murphy could not remember a single prom ask during her high school career, including her own.

Photo: Hadley Profile
Photo by Elyse Pereira.
Hadley Profiles

“It’s now much more of a big deal. It’s crazy to see some of the asks be more elaborate than my friends’ proposals, lately. I think it puts a lot of pressure on both people. I’m glad it was simpler back when I went to HHS,” Murphy said.

While there is some pressure on how students ask their dates, many juniors claim to enjoy this process and the project that comes with the ask.

According to Hadley, the build up to the ask and go to prom is all part of the fun of the experience and it is important for everyone to go through.

“Although it’s nice to see students get so creative and excited to ask each other, I worry it sets a ridiculously high bar for asking someone to a dance who you might not even know very well,” Murphy said.