Why is prom a big deal


The end of the school year was approaching, and so it was the prom of the 12th graders leaving school. The senior prom, as Americans call it, was the number one topic of conversation at school. Everyone was talking about it being on a ship on the Connecticut River this year. Everyone invited was mad. It seemed to me like the senior prom was THE event in a high schooler's career. As a junior (11th grader) I could actually "only" have gone to the junior prom that would have taken place in high school and which is now there near as big a deal as the senior prom. I never expected in my life that I would later become part of this big ball. I was just coming home exhausted from one of my tennis games when I received this text message: "Hannah, would you like to go to prom with me?" It came from Shawn; a nice, handsome 12th grader. He was a little shy and hadn't dared to ask me personally, as he told me later. But to make it special anyway, he translated it into my mother tongue. I was impressed, beside myself with joy and could hardly contain myself. At first I couldn't quite believe it. As a German exchange student, I've just been invited to the big prom! I immediately ran down to my host parents to deliver this good news. Anna and Lee were delighted and we immediately started talking about the necessary preparations. We set off on the following weekend. I needed a nice dress, an appointment with the hairdresser - and of course my fingernails couldn't be neglected either. For one day I was allowed to feel like a princess. When the day finally came, the excitement grew. Will Shawn like my dress? Do my fingernails match my dress too? And what if he forgets the tickets? Despite all the excitement, everything worked out great. My date was a long time coming, but 15 minutes late he arrived at our house to pick me up. I was so excited when he rang the doorbell that I asked my host father Lee to open the door. There he stood, Shawn, festively dressed in a suit with a green vest (he had asked me what my favorite color was beforehand) and gave me a wonderful flower bracelet that I wore all evening. As is the custom here, gave him a rose for his suit. To be honest, I was totally amazed at how good he looked in this festive look and it was an honor to go to the ball with him. Then it started. First we drove to the school where the teachers were waiting for us. Each one was screened for dangerous items and, finally, we had to undergo an alcohol test - a safety measure in response to recent events. When we were done with that, the 40 minute bus ride to the ship followed. It dragged on forever and I could hardly wait to reach the goal. Then we saw the huge ship, just wonderful. It was all so beautifully decorated, you would have thought it had been spruced up for a wedding. After the reception on the ship, we were pampered with a 3-course menu while the DJ put on his first music. After the meal, my personal highlight of the evening followed. Everyone was called out onto the deck. There everyone received a piece of paper that was folded into a triangle. Now the announcement was: "Everyone wants something and on three you open the package!" There was silence on the ship for a moment - and then - "One - Two - THREE!" - we carefully opened the parcels and seconds later the sky was accompanied by our admiring sounds full of little butterflies! They were in the parcel and carried our wishes with them into the future ... Everyone was so surprised by the beautiful idea. It was a wonderful picture, all the pretty butterflies fluttering into the sky. For a moment I thought of the little animals - how scared they must have been - but now they were free again, free as were our wishes for the future .... A little later the dance started. How good that I attended the dance school in Soest before my exchange year. And so I could move with Shawn on the parquet, swinging quietly - right in the middle of the turmoil on the dance floor! It was so much fun that I didn't even notice how quickly the time went by. In between we refreshed ourselves at the bar with all kinds of drinks - non-alcoholic of course! On the lower deck of the ship there was a professional photographer who had a large box of clothes to dress up with - Shawn and I of course didn't want to miss that. The pictures were then immediately available to take away in a picture frame as a souvenir. Everything was so perfect that the evening - like everything beautiful - was over much too quickly. Before we knew it they were playing the last song and we had to get back to the buses. It was pitch dark, and we still had a little time to relax and just think about what a wonderful evening we were allowed to experience. I think it was one of the nicest evenings of my life. I will always remember my American prom with Shawn. And Shawn will always remember his date with the German accent ...


About the author: Hannah Keyen from the Werler district of B├╝derich in the US state of Connecticut attended high school for a year and lived an hour's drive from New York with host parents. The 15-year-old student reports on her experiences in America in the Anzeiger blog. All contributions by the author: