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A Pro(m)posal: Next Year, Reschedule Prom

The beloved dance creates a serious problem for AP students

Photo by Dolores McConnell

Photo by Dolores McConnell

Hope Stratman, Copy Editor

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Last Saturday at 10:30 PM, I was watching my long dress flare out as I spun to an irresistibly upbeat song.

Last Saturday at 11:30 PM, I was unraveling the difference between enthalpy and entropy.

The notoriously difficult AP tests, which cover material from the whole year and require several hours to take, prompt extreme amounts of studying from students. The tests, which will be taken at different times between May 1 and May 12, have left many, including me, panicking. To a certain extent, this panic is inevitable. However, one factor can, and probably should, be adjusted by the school administration to lessen students’ stress: prom.

Prom, if common culture is to be believed, is one of the best experiences in our high school career. We only get two, after all, so prom is a night for friends, corsages, and endless dancing. However, an impending AP test on the following Monday or Tuesday does a marvelous job of putting a damper on prom fun. After all, it’s hard to live in the moment when you’re constantly anxious about your impending AP doom a few days later.

Not only does studying interfere with prom, but prom interferes with studying. Students need the weekend before their AP test(s) to study their hardest, and for some, the weekend before is one of the only opportunities for pure, desperate study time. However, after preparation, photos, dinner, the dance itself, and post-prom, the amount of cramming time lost to puffy dresses and jiving limbs can be over 10-13 hours.

Photo by Hope Stratman

A slightly bitter Snapchat I sent to a friend on Saturday night

Consider me: I’m your average, overly-busy newspaper student with an AP chemistry test at 7:30 on Monday, May 1. One of my core personal philosophies centers around seizing moments and opportunities, especially if they’re irreplaceable, so I would never have not gone to prom.

However, I also had upwards of 20 hours of studying to do last weekend, because the Lord knows that reduction-oxidation reactions made about as much sense to me as the Gordian Knot did to Alexander. Consequently, I did not attend one of my two high school post-proms, regardless of how ridiculously fun it looked, and I know that a decent portion of my prom night was spent worrying about the extent of my knowledge of thermodynamics.

I’m aware that the spring, activity-wise, is extremely chaotic, but an adjustment to prom scheduling must be made. For the good of AP students – and I remind you that the grades in AP classes are also the primary prom-goers – prom should be scheduled at a later or earlier time next year.

For the last several years, students have had to balance prom and AP; next year, stop the struggle and simply reschedule.

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A Pro(m)posal: Next Year, Reschedule Prom