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The Same but Different

The Differences Between Homecoming and Prom

Photo by Todd Cravens on Unsplash

Prom and homecoming are two important events in a high school student's life. Although both events are significant in the high school social calendar, they have many different traits. This includes the types of dresses worn, the location of the events and the lead-up to the event. While both events have their own good aspects, prom is a much more sophisticated and thought-out event.


One of the most obvious differences between prom and homecoming is the wardrobe, particularly the dresses worn by the girls. Prom dresses are typically floor length formal gowns. These dresses are usually chosen with great care, with girls spending weeks to months searching for the perfect dress. The formal attire of prom reflects the event's significance and how important it is to students, as they put a lot of thought and care into the clothes they choose. Homecoming dresses, however, are more semi-formal short dresses, with the exception of homecoming court. While still stylish, these dresses are less elaborate than prom dresses, having a more relaxed vibe than a prom dress. Homecoming is more laid-back with boys not always wearing full suits and girls rocking short dresses. These differences in style highlight the next level of elegance that prom holds.

Another element that is different between prom and homecoming is the location where they are held. Prom is typically a classier event, often taking place in off-campus venues, such as banquet halls, country clubs or hotels. For example, Maclay holds their prom at the Florida State University Alumni Center, a lot fancier compared to homecoming which is held in the Cartee gym. These off-campus locations contribute to the event's sense of importance and formality, providing a special setting that distinguishes prom from other school events. Homecoming, on the other hand, is held on school grounds, which contributes to the fact that it is a more casual event that holds significant meaning for the entire school community. This gives homecoming a more low-key, school spirit vibe. Prom, however, provides a high-class atmosphere and sophistication due to its location.

The final major difference between homecoming and prom is the tradition of Spirit Week. During Spirit Week, students participate in a range of activities and themed dress-up days, building excitement in anticipation of the homecoming football game and dance. Prom, on the other hand, does not typically feature an equivalent to Spirit Week. While there may be anticipation leading up to the event, it lacks the organized, school-wide activities that homecoming has leading up to it. The spirit week is meant to carry a laid-back vibe for the week leading up to homecoming, while prom does not have that. The focus of prom is more on having a classy, formal event, whereas homecoming contributes heavily to school spirit.

While both prom and homecoming are important events for highschoolers, they serve different purposes and are celebrated differently. The differences in dresses, location and the presence of Spirit Week for homecoming but not for prom show how the dances serve different purposes and are each good in their own way.


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Andy Poll

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