Opinion: Seniors Recognize Missing Prom Isn’t Everything

WCI students posed for a photograph before Prom 2019 at Rockway Gardens. Photo by Justin B.

This year has been the most unfortunate time for seniors in high school because of canceled proms and graduation ceremonies. I thought it was an appropriate time to really inquire into what seniors’ attitudes are on how these important milestones have been canceled.

I wanted to understand the seniors’ thoughts on their safety concerns about holding a large event during these times, so the first student I decided to interview was Maia D who is in Grade 12 at WCI. I asked her what opinions she held on prom and graduation being canceled right now. She said, “I think that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Especially since at public schools, it’s hard to get through the halls without bumping into at least 20 different students. It really sucks for the people graduating and grade 8’s that are coming in high school. There’s so much unknown and I’m sure it causes lots of stress for everyone in all different kinds of situations.” I felt this was a very thoughtful perspective by having others’ health in mind instead of being upset about the canceled events. It’s a very unique time we’re living in because everyone is facing different struggles with COVID being such a real issue around the world right now.

Picture captured in Victoria Park with Kezea G. and Kia M from Prom 2019.

One of the largest upsets for some of our seniors was when the announcement that prom was called off was made because so many had already spent a great deal of money on outfits. Samantha L said, “It kind of sucks because I already got my dress and stuff.” This is a very unfortunate case for a lot of students, but she added, “I understand why we’re not allowed to have it and I feel like people have lost more important things recently because of Corona, and I’m okay with it now.”

Another positive point to look at this time is the possible rescheduling of prom for sometime in the summer. This event will depend on restrictions on gatherings, and it is being proposed by a small group fo students. Sophie S, who is also in Grade 12 at WCI, said, “To me, prom has always been a quintessential part of high school. As a graduating senior, it was definitely something I was looking forward to. I had already bought my dress and everything. In my opinion, seniors shouldn’t have their feeling invalidated. Prom being canceled is indeed a form of loss, and I know there’s a resounding number of seniors who felt this collective grief. However, I’m optimistic that our rescheduled prom will give us the finale we all deserve.” She pointed out that students should maintain an optimistic perspective in the near future for these events that may happen down the road.

This year has had a lot of unexpected unfortunate circumstances but one of the last seniors I talked to was Fergus P. He had a very mature view of this upsetting start to the year for many seniors. He said, “So obviously it’s disappointing as some of us have been dreaming about prom or whatever since we were younger. I feel like it’s not that big of a deal considering that we are in the middle of a pandemic.” He also referenced the movement against anti-black racism as being a bigger issue facing people now than missing prom is. He said, “So I think it’s disappointing, but there are better things to be focused on instead of prom and graduation ceremonies.”

These types of responses I received were a very common mindset for a lot of seniors because we are a generation experiencing a lot of firsts, and I think it’s important to not just look out for ourselves, but for our country.

These are some important thoughts to carry with you as this school year closes because no matter what struggles you may be facing with COVID, there is good in the world. A positive mindset will reflect through your attitude as this year continues.