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Roving Teen Reporter:
Leila Zein-Phillipson | Torrey Pines High School Junior


A Little Kelp From My Friends.
Sandpiper reporter Nancy Fisher and a friend spotted this message in the sand below the bridge at Dog Beach. Looks like the artist arranged the question in kelp and then brought a potential prom date onto the bridge to pop the question. Photo Deborah Etherton


Prom is a night both anticipated and feared.

“Pretty much your whole life you hear about prom. Your siblings go, your parents went, your grandparents went. It’s this huge event to look forward to,” said Grace.

Since the 1930s when prom first became the premier event in the high school junior and senior social calendar, it has evolved and is still evolving today. In the early days of high school proms, the nighttime dance was similar to a debutante ball. These early proms were nights symbolizing coming of age and rites of passage from teen to adult. Boys would ask their female dates and financially treat them to the night. At present prom goers will often attend without a date, or participate as part of a group.

“I had a few people I could have asked, but I’d rather just go with my friends anyways,” explained Luke who did not attend the actual Prom dance, but rode around on a prom party bus.

“[Prom] has definitely changed. It’s no longer about going with someone you like, its more about the party bus to and from the prom and who spent the most on their dress. Most people just go into the venue to take pictures then leave,” said Camilla.

The question of a same sex couple attending prom has also evolved from being unheard of to commonly accepted.

The Associated Student Body of each school spends the full year visiting various venues, booking DJs and preparing for the highly anticipated night.

“We booked the venue last May and have been preparing [for Prom] this entire last year. Juniors are the ones who organize the prom,” said TPHS junior class vice-president, Jake.

SDUHSD schools each have their own prom. Torrey Pines High School (TPHS) and La Costa Canyon High School (LCC) held their prom on May 18th. The TPHS prom was themed “A Night In Tahiti” and was located at the Catamaran Hotel in Pacific Beach. The LCC prom featured the theme “Bright Lights, Big City” and was held at the Broadway Pier downtown. San Dieguito Academy (SDA) and Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) scheduled their proms on the night of June 1st. “Viva Las Vegas” was the theme for SDA prom which took place at the House of Blues in downtown.

CA held their prom at the Westin located in the Gas lamp district and chose “Great Gatsby” for its theme. Ticket costs varied depending on the students having an ASB card and the number of days before the event when they purchased tickets. ASB cards allow students to go to school-sponsored events for a discounted price. In any event, tickets ranged from 45-70 dollars.

“I spent about 350 dollars including my tux rental, two tickets, dinner and the bus. Dinner was the cheapest because the bus just went to In & Out,” said Max.
According to a 2012 Visa survey, the prom industry is valued at $4 billion, with the average family spending $1,078.

Amanda shared her budget for prom: “Shoes:$100; Dress $150; Hair and Makeup: $80; Experience: Priceless.”

However, not everyone is included in this “priceless” experience. “I think Prom is a stressful event. All my friends went, but I wasn’t asked. I would have liked to go,” Sydney lamented.

“Overall I think [Prom] is a lot of pressure to look the best and spend the most and there is anticipation for who is asking who and will I even be asked, but I think it’s worth it and the whole experience is most people’s highlight of high school despite the stress,” said Krissy.

Despite the major changes from 1930’s Prom nights to modern day SDUHSD Proms one thing has remained; a highly anticipated night full of teen angst that one may call “Prama” or “Prom Drama.”

The beach at 11th Street.  Photo Madeline Sloan



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