Prom is a night where memories are made

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Justin Dela Cruz
Columnist, The Friday Flyer

Temescal Canyon High School recently celebrated the upcoming conclusion of the school year with their annual prom. This year, the dance took place at the beautiful Founder’s Hall located within Soka University in Aliso Viejo. With its gorgeous walkway, amazing architecture and lovely atmosphere, it was clear that the night was going to be one to remember.

Of course, getting ready for the big event meant a lot of tedious preparation: buying a fresh, clean new suit, figuring out what I was going to do before prom (if anything at all), deciding whether I should go with a date or go with a group and planning transportation were just a few of the major factors that needed individual attention.

Such attention was something I wasn’t quite ready for. As someone who is not very detail-oriented, prom provided a lot of unwanted stress; amid the upcoming college experience, varsity tennis, AP and IB testing and the whole lot of senior year in general, cultivating the perfect prom experience seemed somewhat extravagant and unnecessary.

There are plenty of seniors across the country who choose not to go to prom because it’s either too expensive or perhaps it’s not worth their time, and I completely empathize with their perspective. However, I decided it was senior year, and as Christopher Columbus once said, “By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” And I was not going to fail at making my last year of high school the best one possible.

It started off with finding the perfect date, in this case a close friend of mine whose identity shall remain unknown. What I can tell you is that she has a hilarious sense of humor and has been my great friend since I met her four years ago during freshman year of high school.

When it came to asking her to prom, I decided to keep it simple. Unlike most “promposals,” where one might receive a bouquet of flowers and perhaps some balloons or a poster, I just asked her if she’d like to go, to which she replied with an excited, “Yes.”

With the perfect date, I then proceeded with putting together the perfect attire. For the most part, I had worn the same coat and pants for formal events such as dances, parties and award ceremonies, making it reasonable that I should try on something new.

After a long afternoon of shopping at the Promenade Mall in Temecula, I had managed to buy a matching navy blue coat with pants alongside a pair of slick, brown dress shoes. But there was one crucial piece I needed if I had wanted to look as fresh as possible: the perfect tie.

Unfortunately, the only available ties at the mall were either a shade too bright or just too dull compared to the light pink hue of my date’s dress. Luckily, a very close companion of mine came to the rescue by going out of her way to find a tie that could not have been more closer to that salmon tone.

The remaining pre-prom plans consisted of choosing how we were going to arrive to Aliso Viejo and what we were going to do prior to the dance started. In the end, we tagged along with a group of my friends, had dinner, and, best of all, took an RV to prom. Yes, an RV.

To be completely honest, it was arguably the most fun and definitely one of the most interesting experiences I’ve undergone within my senior year.

After eating dinner followed by taking pictures at Dos Lagos in Corona, our group made the hour-and-a-half long trip to Soka University. Finally, we had made it to prom.

Sure, we might have arrived more than an hour late to the venue, but our entrance was practically phenomenal and I would not have traded that for a limo nor a party bus. So we crossed the red carpet into Founder’s Hall where they confiscated my chapstick for no apparent reason; nonetheless, the night was young and the entertainment was just beginning.

The short walk into the main lobby was absolutely breathtaking as we were greeted with the noise of music resonating nearby as well as the wafting smell of what I soon discovered to be a chocolate fountain on the second floor.

Second to my initial reaction was just how amazing everyone was dressed. If there’s one thing I love about formal events, it’s seeing everybody dressed to the tens, and on prom night, we were all dressed well beyond stunning.

The next several minutes were dedicated to greeting my other friends and getting pictures over with so we could make our way to the dance hall where one could find the best DJ the school had ever hired, as confirmed by a majority of those I asked.

While I didn’t spend as much time on the dance floor as I usually would have, there were still plenty of things to do throughout the night to keep us busy.

After finding out who had won prom king and queen (congratulations to Savanna Cashell and Louie Baello), the camaraderie was a highlight in itself. And if you needed a break from the heat, a short, yet pretty walk outside the hall entrance was a getaway all together.

In spite of the fact that I was not able to do all the activities at prom nor was it the ideal fairytale, it was the night to remember, one filled with extravaganza, celebration, a lot of picture taking, and, most importantly of all, a night of slowing down and recognizing that high school is coming to an end: a night of accomplishment.

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Justin Dela Cruz