Prom Problems: COVID-19 pandemic puts Junior Prom in jeopardy

By Candace Ortman, Arts & Culture editor

As not only students at West Essex, have begun to truly feel the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, it has become a reality that many of the school events that students look forward to will have to be postponed or cancelled. As many can probably guess, junior prom is one of the main social events for high school students at West Essex and many other schools across the country.

Finding the perfect dress, making all of the necessary appointments and promposals sort of seems like it was all for nothing as the junior Class does not know whether or not their prom will be rescheduled. As new information surfaces about the future of the novel Coronavirus, hopeful prom attendees pray that they will get a chance to wear their carefully selected dresses before junior year ends.

Junior prom was supposed to take place on Thursday, April 2 but was indefinitely postponed until it is safe and our school has approval from the government to host an event of that size. The administration has reassured students and parents that they are doing everything in their power in order to reschedule prom, but there are no guarantees.

West Essex juniors are taking this news in stride. Junior Brianna Matarazzo was originally upset but is trying to see the positive in the situation.

“When I first realized we were not going to have prom I was really upset because we have been looking forward to it all year,” Matarazzo said. “But now after thinking it over, there’s nothing we can do to fix it so I’m trying to look at the bright side that if it gets rescheduled it will make our senior year that much more fun.”

The most logical conclusion students and parents are drawing about the rescheduling of prom would be to have it in the fall when juniors return from Summer break. Many people have worked hard to put together the junior prom and do not intend to just let it be cancelled without a fight. The Class of 2021 Vice President, Michael Aktas emphasized the important reasons for postponing prom but has hopes for the future.

“We need to think about what is important in this current time of crisis,” Aktas said. “We must prioritize health, safety and the well-being of our community. We can always have another prom but in order to get there, we must act now by practicing social distancing.”

There has been talk of no prom for high school students all over social media. Trending on several platforms including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, students have been trying on their dresses and voicing their opinions on the cancellation of their most exciting high school events. Some West Essex students even held a large group video chat on Zoom on the night when prom would have been.

West Essex seniors are feeling sympathetic towards the juniors after experiencing such a fun prom last year. Senior Zoe Offir feels horrible for the juniors as they are unsure about having a prom. 

“Prom was one of the more fun events of high school in my opinion, so it’s really sad for the juniors who may not be able to experience it,” Offir said. “I also just feel so bad for everyone who bought dresses and everything and now did not even get to wear them. However, postponing the prom is necessary to keep everyone safe.” 

As this pandemic continues, people all around the country are having to make sacrifices in order to keep the population safe. With the help of the administration and the student council, students are hopeful they will still experience the milestone of high school prom.