To My Younger Self on the Night of Senior Banquet

To My Younger Self on the Night of Senior Banquet

You've been imagining this day for years, staring at your dress ever since you came home to get your hair done and start moving out of your room, and resisting the urge to try it on in recent days for fear of staining or ripping it. But you made it! Now before you get all glamorous, I just want to give you some advice to help your night (and afternoon of prep) go smoothly.

Let's begin with the stuff leading up to the banquet. I know you've been looking at prom dresses for years. You have a Pinterest board and everything, and there's this gorgeous white dress that you can't find anywhere but you would do anything to wear. As you shop, don't be afraid to explore possibilities you haven't tried yet. Try on a ball gown just once, you might like it. Don't be scared of sparkles. Mom and Dad will be more lenient on backs, necklines, and silhouettes than you think. And speaking of your parents, be kind to them as you look for dresses. It takes a lot for them to go shopping with you, especially considering how picky your tastes are. 

You did a good job picking this one, though. I will give you that. Just make sure you get a matching evening bag and shoes.

 A glamorous take on a bag of cotton candy

A glamorous take on a bag of cotton candy

Next, let's tackle this date situation. Please do not stress about this. Truly, no one dies from going to Senior Banquet by themselves. Don't feel bad because you're not going with a boyfriend. And don't be afraid of doing the asking. It's 2013, and you'll pick a good one this way.

Now that you have a date, let's fast forward a bit. You go into Town Hall one day and see that giant diagram of tables at the banquet, where everyone picks where they will sit the night of the dance. Go ahead and fill out a table with your suitemates and their dates. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing and who other people are sitting with. The dinner isn't the most important part. You won't even remember what you ate, except for some pretty good popcorn.

So now that we've covered all that, let's get to the fun part: getting ready! The extensions are a good choice, trust me. I know you've been dying to try them, and you love the length. My advice? Add some curls. I know it's Alabama and it'll be 89 degrees with 150% humidity on that day (and heads up, it'll rain that day but the sun will be out right before you leave), but do it anyway. There's nothing more disappointing than watching your perfectly straightened hair puff up from the hot mist you'll have to practically swim through. Curls really won't hurt you. Either way, bring a brush.

Make sure you confirm if someone else is doing your makeup that day, and if so, who that person is. There's nothing like scrambling at the last minute to do your own makeup when all you know is powder, mascara, and lipgloss. Either way, you'll make it work.

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Don't get ready by yourself in your suite. Go to the hotel with your family and best friend. You'll see your classmates at the pre-party, and you really ought to spend some time with your loved ones this week since they came all this way to support you.

 See what I mean about the hair?

See what I mean about the hair?

Oh! Here's another thing you should take care of before the day of the dance. Make sure you and your date are coordinated. A black tie is the easiest way to go but feel free to send him a picture of your dress so he has an idea of what you'll be wearing. If for some reason you forget to do this...

 Yes, that's him on the far right.

Yes, that's him on the far right.

Don't freak out. It won't matter years, months, weeks, or even days later. You'll still have a great time!

Some other miscellaneous things: read the address carefully as you and your date drive to the pre-party venue, or just follow your friend's parents. It'll save you 45 minutes of circling around the wrong side of town trying to find the party. It'll be hot, so bring napkins and extra makeup. Your face will hurt from smiling for so many pictures, but that's part of the fun. When you feel nervous, just be silly!

But also remember to pull it back every now and then and be more refined. You are a young lady, after all.

Eat before the banquet because it will take forever for you to get your food. No, seriously, you'll get your dinner as everyone else is finishing their dessert and heading to the dance floor. Just find some way to amuse yourself while you wait.

Take pictures BEFORE you dance or you'll glow in all of your pictures, and not in the good way. 

Dance the night away.

 Courtesy of the school website

Courtesy of the school website

When the dance floor starts to clear out and everyone goes to someone's house to party, go to Sonic with your date, your suitemates, and their dates. Get milkshakes and coke floats, sit and stargaze in the warm breeze, and then head home. Just like Cinderella, boarders have to be back in the dorm by midnight. 

But unlike Cinderella, the magic will remain even as you try on your dress again almost three years (and ten pounds) later.

It'll fit perfectly, just like Cindy's glass slipper.

Arepa Mia

Arepa Mia

Mother's Day Brunch

Mother's Day Brunch