Graduating was hard for me, all of it. Not just having to move on, make new plans, and become a grown-up (something I'm still decades away from, I'm pretty sure), the whole ordeal of graduation itself was hard. The stress of having to cross the stage in a stupid-looking robe with the entire town staring at me, being forced to spend almost a whole weekend with classmates I didn't even really like that much, and my actual prom night -- ugh.
My graduation ceremonies went like this.
-- on the Friday evening, we had the walk-across-the-stage ceremony
-- After that, a mocktail party.
-- After mocktails, casino night (not actual gambling, we had fake money, but still, boring as hell)
-- Saturday afternoon, another mocktail-type party
-- Saturday night, prom
When I say "prom," I mean that we rented out the local university (really swanky building), had a fancy dinner, then we played Wii on a giant screen, had a Velco obstacle course, mechanical bull, karaoke, photo booths, Tarot card readers, and just generally ran around all crazy -- in our fancy dresses and tuxes.
Sounds fun, but point I was so burnt out. I'm the kind of person that can have fun with a group of people for an hour or two, but I really need alone-time to recharge, and I just didn't get that the whole weekend. As a result I was completely miserable and spent most of "prom" by myself in the gardens outside or on the balcony, staring out across the valley at my small town and wishing I was somewhere else.
And of course, after grad weekend there were after-parties and house parties for another month, since our grad stuff is held at the end of May and school is out near the end of June!
Anyway, I'm now writing a book where a graduation is the opening setting, and I'm aware that my prom/grad experience was probably pretty atypical. So I'm asking you: what was your high school grad like? Did you have the typical American prom, or did your school do something a bit different? If you read about a prom like mine in a YA book, would it ring true to you, or would it be hard to relate to?
Tell me your stories!