As the (somewhat) cold weather slowly disappears and spring flowers bloom in Lutz once again, the long-awaited prom season takes hold over high school students. Talk of extravagant dresses, unforeseen dates and ideal picture locations flood the school hallways as the dreamy night draws closer. This year, however, the usual prom haze will be accompanied by stress and anxiety over AP exams, which are being held the week both before and after prom.
The reasons behind holding prom on such a controversial date are legitimate ones. According to senior class sponsor Kathy Jones (who is also an AP teacher), “May is the culmination of senior social season”, so it is the ideal month for prom. With Grad Bash on April 21, having prom on May 5 would be too soon to hold another extremely expensive event. May 19 would also be problematic since seniors’ last day is May 21, so there would not be time to hand back items that were left at the event. In addition, AP testing was pushed back roughly a week this year (May begins on a Tuesday and AP exams are always the first and second full week of the month) which complicates matters even further. These factors led to Jones’ final decision to have prom in between two of the worst weeks of the year.
“(Students) can study for AP exams on Sunday,” said Jones. She said that few seniors complained last year when Grad Bash was held on the Friday before AP exams began.
While all these reasons explain why the date was selected, they fail to address the implications prom will have on dedicated AP students. Prom activities stretch far beyond the four hour event. Girls, who have been taught since elementary school days that prom is the night of all nights, often spend hours getting their nails done, doing their hair, putting on makeup and so on. Many male attendees also need to have several hours available for pictures and a prom dinner. All these festivities take away from valuable time otherwise spent studying.
The week preceding prom might feel the negative effects of this highly anticipated event as well. Students may find themselves daydreaming about the night they have waited for their entire high school career during an AP test- or during several-, which would be a major distraction from the all too important exam in front of them.
Despite these arguments, it is too late for change now. Concerned seniors who feel stressed out by the looming prom date should make the best of the situation. Getting an early start on AP studying would alleviate the pressure shrouding that weekend. It is still prom, and although it is not on the most carefree weekend, Jones assures seniors it will be “the best Steinbrenner prom yet”.