photo provided by Alivia Serenita
Over the last few years, many students have been asked to dances in an extravagant way, flowers, posters, even light up messages have all been ways that students pop the question to their dates.
Although these prom-posals were extremely popular and almost considered necessary for past proms, the trend has all but died out this year.
Instead of making big displays of affection the week before tickets go on sale, students asked each other casually over Snapchat and made date arrangements in prom group chats.
“It just felt a lot easier and more comfortable to figure it out in the group chat,” said senior Madison Menser, who will be going to prom with Trey Erdman, a Lower Dauphin graduate and Penn State freshman. “Since we’re not going as, like a couple, I feel like prom-posal would have been weird.”
One factor that students cite as decreasing the popularity of prom-posals is social media.
“I think that it’s not as popular anymore, so if people don’t see it all over social media like it was a few years ago, they don’t want to do it anymore,” said senior Desiree Leffler, who had been asked to prom with a prom-posal in her sophomore and junior years.
“I think that to a certain point [prom-posals] are nice but if you go too far over the top, then it’s like just showing off and you’re forgetting the whole point of why you’re actually asking them,” said Leffler. “I think that people don’t want to put in the effort as much anymore and they just know that people are going to say ‘yes’ even if they don’t put in the effort of asking them.”
Part of the decrease in prom-posals also seems to be caused by the decline of stress students feel to bring a date.
“I think people have just started to realize that it doesn’t matter that much if you’re going with somebody as a date,” said Menser. “It can be really fun just to go with friends.”
“I feel like people just assume that they’re going with someone and they don’t feel like they have to ask,” said senior Laney Faiola.
Faiola experienced dance proposals in the past but not recently. Faiola’s date to the eighth grade formal proposed to her with a horse.
She has not been asked to a dance in such an extravagant way since.
“I thought it was a little weird at first,” said Faiola. “It set the expectations high but they were never met.”
The trend has also altered its course by leading more girls to prom-pose this year, often to people they are already committed to going to prom with.
“I just had kind of a small plan to do something special,” said senior Madyson Brown, who is taking junior Eric Wawrzyniak. “Especially because I’m a senior and he’s not.”
Some students who were prom-posed to in the past are reversing roles by popping the question themselves.
“The way Casey [Emler, 2018 graduate] asked last year was so sweet and he put so much thought into it,” said senior Alivia Serenita. “I wanted to be able to something special this year.”
Emler prom-posed by setting up Christmas lights in his backyard in the shape of the word “prom.” Serenita is still undecided as to how she will prom-pose.
“I want to do something big for Casey since he did something so amazing,” said Serenita.