The month of May, for American high-schoolers, is infamously known for senioritis, graduation, and, of course, prom – a night they say you won’t ever forget. Or at least a night you won’t forget the first part of. Limos, party buses, fancy dinners, sunset pictures, and more is the package many American high schoolers were promised to receive that night in May.
However, with the onset of COVID-19, plans were changed from gowns and suits to sweats and fuzzy socks, fancy dinners to eating ice-cream for dinner, and Instagram-worthy pictures to Snapchats of tearful faces.
Caroline Geer ’24 explained that her senior class had already posted their prom dresses on a shared Facebook page for her high school’s prom. She described in an email to the Olaf Messenger that the cancellation of this night was a “disappointment” for her and many of her fellow classmates.
As the pandemic cancellations continued, it felt like the disappointments would never end. However, at St. Olaf, a plan was made to give back what the high school class of 2020 never got – their senior prom. Input from students sparked the idea of a sophomore prom.
Brandon Cash ’16, director of student activities at St. Olaf, described the uncertainty of when to have this prom, stating that it was important “to do this right.” Unlike traditional springtime proms, Cash and his team decided that they wanted it to be special and voted to wait until the start of sophomore year.
“For many folks this is, from a U.S. centric mindset, a rite-of-passage or a big thing that only happens once,” Cash said. Some students are going all out with dresses, dinner, and dates, while others are just simply showing up for a great time.
Ethan Robinson ’24, in an email to The Olaf Messenger, said he was excited to pull off his “killer outfit” for prom pictures and has high expectations, hoping that the Pause staff is “back in their element [and will] deliver some epic beats without having to worry about chords being stepped on” like the dance on Sept. 10.
Victor Gaulmin ’24, an international student from France, dressed up in a classic suit and went with his group of friends. In an email to The Olaf Messenger, he said a prom in the U.S. “will be fun to be a part of.” His high school back home had dances, but nothing as important as this one.
Geer expects the night to be memorable and said “most sophomores will be coming and are looking forward to the dance.” She, along with so many other students, fulfilled their last high school moment with smiles and laughs. So, to the class of 2020 – now 2024 – congratulations once again and hope you had a great night!