Junior year of high school has the reputation of being the toughest academic yearfor a high school student. The pressure of succeeding academically, and choosingcolleges and universities can leave a student drained emotionally andphysically.
In my case, academics had always come before fun. I spent manyFriday nights at home doing homework while my friends went to the movies or aparty. My typical Friday night was spent sitting on my sofa, doing my chemistryor math homework. I would hear the intermittent chatter of my younger sisters.None of my friends ever called to ask me out because they knew I would not beable to go. My parents always stressed academics. I hardly ever went places withmy friends. However, this changed after one event - the Junior Prom. I toldmyself that I needed to go. Not just because I wanted a break, but I felt I wouldbe missing an important event in my life.
It was a night of talking,laughing, reminiscing, and dancing. The Junior Prom marked the end of a long,turbulent year for me. One scene I remember vividly was dancing to my favoritesong, "Oh, What A Night." My friends and I let everything go and justdanced wildly. The song summed up the night. It was a fantastic event thatallowed me to relax. It finally gave me a chance to catch my breath. I felt likeI was running a never-ending marathon, but the Junior Prom changed everything. Itwas a night to forget about school and just have fun. It was a time to be acarefree youth again and let the burdens of adulthood slip away for one night. Ispent the night dancing, and talking about music, problems, and the long-awaitedsummer. I became closer to my friends and we developed a bond that will never bebroken.
After the Prom, I gained not only a friend, but also a personwith whom I could talk about anything. My date, Brooke, and I became closefriends. We share our deepest thoughts, and our greatest fears about life afterhigh school, and our career goals. When I am depressed, Brooke knows how tobrighten my day. When I am stressed, she can always find the right words torelieve my tension.
The Prom was also important because it was really thefirst time that I had a lot of fun at a social event. At the Junior Prom, Ipushed all my nervousness aside and decided to have a great time. The best partof the dance was that I did not have to worry about my appearance, about beingjudged, or being compared to a peer. The stress of school drained away. Gradesdid not matter anymore; everyone was equal.
If I learned anything from myJunior Prom, I realized that school is very important, but so is socialacceptance. I realize that it is important to have a balance between academicsand pleasure. I discovered that socializing is a great way to relieve the stressof school. The Prom also gave me the opportunity to build better friendships,self-esteem, and inspired me to aim for high goals in the future. The Junior Prom was avery important part of my junior year. It is a very special event of my life thatI will remember always. -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.