A main event in secondary school (or high school) is no doubt… prom. Whether you loved it or hated it if you’re already past school age or are dreading it or looking forward to it if you’re yet to have yours, you’ve probably got some sort of feelings towards your prom and the idea of proms in general. I feel like it’s a very American tradition (if I’m wrong, please correct me) which at some point in time, us folks over the pond adopted ourselves. A prom is usually held at the end of year 11 (in the UK) which is the point where school ends and college or sixth form starts. It’s a great time to relax and wind down after a busy and stressful year at school. And proms usually have tons of fun things included in them, such has dancing, food, friends and even All Occasion Photobooths sometimes! I have fond memories of my proms. Yes, proms. I have a lot of experience of them… Because we had three

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Yep, three. I went to an all girls school, so at the end of year 11 we had an all-girls prom (or they called it the “girls night out” *vom*) which was organised by the school and we also had another prom which the students organised themselves, which we could bring dates to if we wanted. After year 11, I stayed on at my school because we had our own sixth form, which I thought was great. There was no scary transition period, lots of my friends were still there and we were still in the same school and building. But we had another prom to mark the end of year 11 as well, which again we organised ourselves and we had it on a boat on the River Thames. How we didn’t fall over the side drunk in our heels, I’ll never know. So there we go. Three whole proms.

So it’s fair to say, I have a bit of experience on the prom front. 3 occasions. 3 dresses. 3 events to navigate. Proms can be daunting for a lot of people – as can a lot of “big” events. They can be a big deal and lots of people make a huge fuss of proms when really, they’re supposed to be a party. A fun event and a time to spend with your friends (and boyfriend / date if you have one). So among all the stress, here are some of my best tips for dealing with prom season next year, so you can make sure you enjoy yourself and make some memories!

Remember that it’s the end of the school year and it’s a time to let your hair down

Having anxiety, I know better than some people how stressful big events can be. Thankfully at the time of my proms, I didn’t have any type of anxiety so I was able to enjoy it to the best of my ability. But if you do get overwhelmed with big events, that’s fine. But this is a time to let your hair down and have fun – whatever that means to you. So if that means chilling at the table with your friends, that’s fine. Dancing the night away? Also fine.

Take plasters and use insoles

Heels can absolutely kill your feet, especially if you’re on your feet all night and even more especially if you’re dancing. And painful, bleeding feet are not the one and not something you want to contend with when you’re trying to have fun. So taking care of your feet beforehand is really important; make sure the insoles of your shoes are super soft and padded and taking extra plasters is a must!

Wear something that makes you feel wonderful

There’s definitely nothing wrong with dressing to impress at your prom; it’s a great opportunity to wear a stunning dress and there’s plenty of places where you can find a prom dress to suit you, which you may not get a chance to wear again. So go all out. Find your style and express your style. Wear your favourite colour. Wear something that makes you feel like a Princess. Of course that won’t mean a dress for everyone, there’s plenty of super swish Women’s suits out there which could be a great option too!

Take pictures and make memories

Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re taking too many pictures and you’re not “really” enjoying yourself. Your prom could potentially be a once in a lifetime event and it’s the perfect chance to make those wonderful memories with the friends you’re potentially leaving behind for college. I don’t agree with the statement that you shouldn’t be taking photos at any important event and should be enjoying yourself. People are quite capable of doing both and birthday, prom or wedding photo sharing can be a lovely way to reminisce.

Either everyone take a date, or no-one

This is something we all discussed very clearly between our group for our two proms which we could bring dates to. For the prom at the end of year 11, we decided that none of our group would bring dates or boyfriends but the one at the end of sixth form, we did. There’s nothing worse than 1 or 2 people not having a date and feeling excluded from all the loved up couples on the dance floor. Remember this is a time for you and your friends, that’s the most important thing.

Do you have any fond memories of your prom? Did you take a date to yours? Any other tips you’d give to anyone who has their prom next year?

* This is a collaborative post


  1. i wish i was the budding photographer at my prom as i wouldve taken hundreds of photos, we only had the one and it was a leavers ball thing.. lots of girls dancing to the thong song in gowns haha! god bless the early 00’s! love the tip about plasters! that would’ve come in handy even on a general night out

  2. I was homeschooled, so I didn’t go to prom (there was going to be a prom with other homeschoolers, but I hardly knew anyone going, and the whole thing felt very cheesy, so I opted to skip it, haha). That being said, this post was still so fun to read! I love hearing about other people’s perspectives when it comes to school because, as a homeschooler, my experiences were so different.

  3. Hey, I’m literally 2 weeks into Year 11 and all my friends are already talking about prom. What dress colour will best suit them? What type of dress will suit their body type? Will they get a spray tan? What is their hair and make-up going to look like? And then there’s me, someone who doesn’t really want to go to prom just because I’m a little more, let’s just say on the plump side. All I ever wear are leggings and baggy t-shirts so I’m afraid being in a pretty dress is gonna make me feel fat and so self-conscious that I won’t be able to have a fun, care free night. I know it’s super early but I’m already stressing about something as silly as this, while having actual stress for my GCSE’s. Any tips/advice would mean a lot x

    1. Just try on a bunch of different dresses and find one that you’re comfortable it. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the same as everyone else’s. Doesn’t mean you’re not going to look beautiful if you’re on the bigger side to your friends!

  4. Ahh, prom. What a night that was haha. I had the best time as our prom involved a ceilidh (typical Scots for ya!) but you’re so right on the plasters thing, by the end of the night we’d all kicked our shoes off and were in agony haha! So many good tips here, I still can’t believe you had THREE proms!
    Beth x

  5. I didn’t have a proper prom, I had more of a sit down meal for mine so it was completely different, but I love your tips!

  6. awe so fun! i actually never went to prom, but went to homecoming. kind of the same vibes, just not quite as fancy! it’s definitely the perfect time to let your hair down!

    – cassy | blissfullyher.com

  7. Wooow 3 proms! I had 2 (One in year 11 and one at the end of sixth form) and I thought that was overkill! I loved both my proms and agree that you should wear something that makes you feel great, as 5 and 3 years on I still can’t forget the feeling of my dresses! I like the idea of everyone or no one bringing dates! I sort of brought a date to my sixth form prom (I got ready and went with my friends but met up and danced with my boyfriend while there), but I had one friends that went with her boyfriend as her date and it definitely made a difference in terms of interacting with our group during prom!

    Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

  8. I love the ‘all take a date or nobody does’ rule – wish girls way back when I had mine (10 years now, eek!) had the same principles – I remember it being a bit of a ‘thing’ if you didn’t have a date, and nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable at their prom! Great post! Ahh memories. x

  9. Proms weren’t a thing when I finished high school in 1987 (I know I’m THAT old) but my daughter has just gone into year 11, so she’ll have a prom to attend next year. Although at the moment she is adamant that she doesn’t want to go to it. x

  10. My high school had two proms and I only attended once. I don’t think I enjoyed it. 😂 if I’ll be given another chance, I think I’d be more prepared and will be able to buy a prom dress that I really like and for sure, I’ll have more photos. 🤗

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