WITH the number of pictures taking up not only the paper, but also everyone’s social networking pages, you would have to be hiding under a rock to not know that prom season is well and truly underway.

Hundreds upon hundreds of pictures have been taken of Dorset’s youth dressed up to the nines, ready to celebrate the end of the academic year.

Having just been to my own Leavers’ Ball, I myself have been well and truly submerged in the ‘prom hype’ that goes along with the event. For months, me and my friends have discussed numerous dresses, how we are doing our hair and debated the pros and cons of getting a spray tan.

The event itself was a lot of fun, enabling Year 13 students to come together for one last time before we all part ways in our next steps in life.

However, once the dresses had been taken off and our faces wiped clean of makeup, I got wondering – is the prom really worth it?

I consider myself to have shopped modestly for my prom, buying a dress under £100 and deciding not to undertake the ‘prom package’ of professionally done nails, hair and tan.

But, on talking to others – and not only at my own school – the excessive amounts which many have paid to look glamorous for prom is overwhelming, with dresses being bought in excess of £400, not counting the luxurious transportation of limousines, Bentleys and even helicopters. Now, although I see nothing wrong with wanting to feel a million dollars for a night, we have to look at the practical problems with this amount of spending.

The sense of competition in looking the best is rife, with girls striving to own the biggest dress, the highest shoes, or the darkest tan. This competitiveness creates problems for people who are not able to frivolously spend this amount of cash, leaving them feeling isolated, alone and overwhelmed by the expense of it all.

I’m not saying that we should all wear our mums’ old dresses (heaven forbid), or not go to the prom at all, but we should try to remember the value of money when preparing for our prom.

So, put down those designer earrings that you simply must have – proms are not about breaking the bank, but about enjoying a night to remember with your school friends.