COVID-19 causes the cancellation of junior prom

On+March+21%2C+students+held+a+virtual+junior+prom+using+Zoom.+Junior+Amy+Sun+came+up+with+the+idea+since+junior+prom+was+cancelled.+

Used with the permission of Amy Sun

On March 21, students held a virtual junior prom using Zoom. Junior Amy Sun came up with the idea since junior prom was cancelled.

Audrey Wong

Considered one of high school’s most important milestones, Junior Prom is a highly anticipated event among Lynbrook students. The Class of 2021 was set to have their Junior Prom on March 21, with many students preparing months ahead of time to ensure a perfect night. From shopping for dresses to planning “promposals,” excitement began building in the weeks leading up to the event. Unfortunately, due to the rampant spread of COVID-19, more commonly referred to as coronavirus, Junior Prom was cancelled. 

On March 6, students received word that Junior Prom would either be cancelled or rescheduled, and on March 12, they received confirmation that the event was indeed cancelled. The District Office, with guidance from Santa Clara County Public Health, decided to cancel all large gatherings, and Lynbrook’s junior prom was no exception. 

 “When the venue first cancelled, the initial shock was mitigated because coronavirus was cancelling things left and right, and I had already mentally prepared myself for it a bit,” said Junior Class Secretary Alex Cheng. “However, as time went on, it kind of hit more and more; all the hard work and planning, all the hype, the dancing, the fashion show, just gone because of a single pandemic. Everything just felt out of control, and I could feel the disappointment from the rest of the Class of 2021.”

The 2021 class officers, Jonathan Huang, Gaby Tran, Megan Hong, Joyce Feng and Cheng started planning for prom in January. Officers were assigned different tasks: Huang and Tran were in charge of PR, Hong arranged decorations, Cheng designed the promotional video and Feng oversaw all the planning. Officers also worked to find a location that was different from the typical country club or museum. The venue was kept secret until publicly announced on Feb. 14, when juniors got invitations that revealed prom would be hosted at The GlassHouse.

“We chose based on price, size and the appearance of the venue,” Tran said. “We wanted to make sure it had a spacious dance floor and areas to relax that would accommodate everyone, especially since our class is so large. But, we also had to be able to afford it with the money we had and through ticket sales.” 

Class officers advertised tickets through announcements and social media platforms, even offering incentives, such as a $5 discount to the first 21 students who purchased a ticket. Students who bought their ticket from Feb. 21 to 28 paid an early bird fee of $75. Sales continued from March 2 to 6, with tickets priced at $80. However, now that prom has been canceled, ASB plans to refund students once school is back in session.

Many students, including juniors Iris Leung and Elwing Gao, were upset by the cancellation of prom. Leung spent one week completing the basic design of the tickets, and after that, she spent more time playing around with its aesthetic composition — experimenting with various fonts and placements and drawing inspiration from the venue, Pinterest boards and color generators. Gao helped her choose color schemes and gave Leung helpful feedback that helped her complete the design. 

“Of course I was frustrated when I heard about Junior Prom’s cancellation,” Leung said. “Many of the other events that I’ve been creating designs for, [such as Powerpuff and Indesign’s fashion show], have either been cancelled or suspended as well. Even though much of my time has been wasted, I’m still grateful for being able to work with other amazing artists and for being able to work with more design softwares.”

The cancellation of prom has also impacted photographers, especially those who now have to adjust their schedules due to cancellations from customers. 

“It’s just a loss of an opportunity for me to get more experience as a photographer, and a loss of an opportunity for those receiving the photos,” said senior Allison Li. 

While Junior Prom is a once in a lifetime experience and an integral part of one’s high school experience, the Class of 2021 still has many events to look forward to, such as Senior Prom. 

“I feel like Junior Prom is a pretty big event, but there’s also Senior Prom next year so at least they can enjoy that,” said senior Jasmine Chen. “I wasn’t really surprised because the virus is really serious in our county, and I understand that the district wants to cancel all these close contact events. I feel like since the juniors have this summer and one more year at Lynbrook, there will be a time when everything calms down and they can make up Junior Prom.”

With Junior Prom added to the ever-growing list of events canceled due to the virus, many students are left wondering whether they will still have the high school experience they desired.