Is There a Prom in College and What Are the Alternatives?
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Prom is quite possibly one of the most popular events in any high school calendar. This event is typically held towards the end of the school year and it is usually associated with a lot of enthusiasm among many students.
This event is usually held in such high regard that missing it is preposterous. You will often see guys clad up in tuxedos and ladies in breathtaking dresses heading to prom. If you are reading this, then your time in high school is probably coming to a close and you haven’t been to a single prom event in your high school life, or you simply would like to attend more prom events in college. You are probably wondering whether there is a prom in college. Well, I have just the answer for you!
There is no prom in college. Colleges will usually have alternatives for prom such as homecoming, parties, formals, and dances. All the same, proms are typically a high school event.
In this article, we will discuss in detail whether there is prom in college, whether college students can go to prom, whether freshmen can go to prom, and whether colleges have formals or school dances. So read on to get the inside scoop. This will be an insightful read for you!
Is There Prom in College?
The history of prom can be traced back to the mid to late 1800s at colleges and universities in the Northeast of America. Their role at the time was to promote social etiquette and manners in each year’s graduating class.
However, it wasn’t until the 1950s rolled over that prom became intrinsically stitched into the fabric of high school culture. By the time the 80s and 90s came about, this tradition had been firmly established as one of the most important school events for high school students all over the country. By the 2000s, prom became the in thing and up to date, the event still holds a plethora of enthusiasm for most teenagers not only in America where it originated but also in other countries.
If you are reading this, then chances are that you have already been to a prom dance before. I think we can both agree that it’s usually a magical night. Chances are that your years in high school are almost coming to an end and you are wondering whether you will have the chance to recreate this magic when you go to college. This is quite understandable. I however have some striking news for you!
Unfortunately, there are no proms in college. In this day and age, when people see prom, the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of them in high school, not college. You will get the overall and best prom experience in high schools more than you will in colleges and universities.
Neither large nor small colleges would consider creating and hosting an event similar to prom. The truth of the matter is that the dynamics at play in colleges differ greatly from those in high schools. Social life in colleges is-for lack of a better word-complicated.
There are several reasons why there are no proms in colleges. Some of these include:
1. The sheer size of the student body in colleges
Just think about it, there are thousands of people in just one college. It is therefore quite hard to organize a college-wide prom event for such a huge multitude of people. Take for example Florida State which has 41,000 students. How could you put on a prom for that many people? It’s hard to find resources that can accommodate so many people.
Colleges are much bigger than high schools and people will do things or organize events with their own groups.
2. College is a step up from High School
People in colleges are practically adults and they like to be viewed as such. At the end of the day, college is supposed to be a step up into adulthood. Prom is kind of a high school event. So a lot of the students in colleges prefer to leave the tradition of prom to high school students.
In high school, proms serve the purpose of allowing relatively young teenagers to dress and act like adults in a social setting. In colleges, students are treated as adults and therefore prom would feel out of place in such a setting.
3. Events in colleges are organized by groups
Events in colleges are usually sponsored by some organizations or clubs on campus. At the end of the day, it is the decision of these groups on what events to have in colleges. Good luck trying to convince them to organize a prom!
I know this may be heartbreaking to hear. But one thing that all people agree on is that college life is much more fun than you would believe. Besides, there are alternatives to prom in colleges, and who knows, you may end up having even more fun! These alternatives include:
- Homecoming – In such an event, alumni of a college come back and one gets to see people they haven’t seen in years. Homecoming in college is quite different than it is in high school.
- Parties – One thing that is synonymous with social life in colleges is parties. These are usually organized by fraternities and sororities. Oh, and they usually have a ton of alcohol!
- Formals – In formals, students get to dress up and have a night full of parties and socializing.
- Dances – Most college societies are hosted by Greek societies. There are also some college-sponsored dances to attend in college as well.
All in all, even though there is no prom in college, the events we have discussed above will also be fun-maybe even more than prom. So instead of having a gloomy face because you may not attend prom while in high school, why not cheer up and look forward to an exciting time in college.
Can College Students Go to Prom?
In most cases, it is okay for a college student to go to prom. The truth however is that there is an age limit for going to prom. Most school districts do not allow people who are over the age of 21 to go to prom. Some schools prohibit anyone other than a currently enrolled student to attend their prom events. Others can follow a sort of open enrollment system allowing you to attend prom even if you are in college.
So in essence, there are some situations under which you may be allowed to attend a prom even if you are in college. They include:
- If the school policy allows it.
- If the younger person’s family is okay with it.
- If you are in a serious relationship with a younger person.
You should consider calling the high school office and ask them if it’s alright to go to prom if you are a college student. Give them the correct information and they will let you know whether you are allowed to go to the prom. You may assume that everything is okay but if you attend the prom without calling the high school in advance, then you could get into trouble.
With cases of attacks on high schools and teen pregnancies on the rise, it’s probably best to look ahead and anticipate other events in college. This way you evade anything that may go wrong.
Can Freshman Go to Prom?
Most high schools will not allow freshmen to go to prom. Some high schools however allow freshmen to go to prom. There is however one catch. Such a freshman has to be in the company of a junior or a senior. So if you get asked to a prom by a junior or a senior, it’s perfectly okay to go ahead.
In most cases, however, it is usually frowned upon by a lot of people to have a freshman at prom. A lot of maturity takes place between freshman year and junior year. This is important as it prevents prom from becoming the 8th-grade dance that underclassmen are all too familiar with.
At the end of the day, it all depends on what the school rules are. Some schools will have strict rules that prevent freshmen from attending prom while others will be lax with this rule and allow them to attend in the company of upperclassmen.
Do Colleges Have Formals or School Dances?
The good news is that most colleges have both school dances and formals. In colleges, some clubs may sponsor formals and school dances, though rarely.
In most cases, formals will be organized by Greek organizations. These are exclusive to fraternities and sororities hosting the event. Clubs on the other hand will sponsor dances for their members.
It should however be noted that not all colleges will have both formals and school dances. Some will have either one of the two.
To sum up, if you are looking for a high school experience in college, then you should probably join a sorority or fraternity!