Secondary school students organise their own graduation prom; TikTok video goes viral
The event was planned for a total of 117 students in the cohort.
For most graduating cohorts, a prom night after the O-Level examinations would mark the end of one’s secondary school journey. Dressing up and spending a final night of fun with friends made over four years sure sounds like a bittersweet experience.
So when the students from Geylang Methodist Secondary School were told that the school would not be hosting a prom for them, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
Cheyenne Ng, 16, posted a TikTok video on Nov 23 about how she and her peers decided to plan and execute their own prom. The video amassed about 29k likes and 200 comments, with many netizens being awed at how the students banded together to pull off this impressive feat.
In an interview with Youthopia, Cheyenne said that the school usually hosts prom for the graduating cohort. However, they put a pause to this practice for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She shared that she and her friends had an inkling that they would not be getting a prom, but only received confirmation from the school in September.
The school explained that as the COVID-19 restrictions were only eased earlier in the year, there wasn’t ample time to organise the event, as planning would usually take place a year in advance.
Instead, the school had arranged for class barbeques and an OBS camp for the students. However, Cheyenne and her friends felt that they still wanted to end off their final year of secondary school with a bang.
“Since the start of the year, I already had this plan of hosting our own prom if the school didn’t host it for us. I knew among our cohort, many of us were super into prom and we all looked forward to it,” said Cheyenne.
During the September holidays, Cheyenne and two of her close friends enlisted the help of other students in the cohort to start the planning process.
The team was split up into different groups which would handle the logistics, research hotels and find photo booth companies for the event.
Some members of the team volunteered to handle bag checks and attendance taking on the day of prom, while others communicated closely with the student body before and during prom night.
Cheyenne herself took on the role of a treasurer and oversaw all the finances.
thank you to my comm members for helping me out throughout ❤️ has been a hectic ride but im gna feel so empty now that its over :( in summary for everyone asking, we hosted at furama riverfront hotel for 117 pax! we started planning from september, and yes got into conflict with teachers & students but eventually it all worked out. price of $75 was inclusive of extra for logs (we had a photobooth set up) , and all events, vids, games, were all prepared by the comm ourself! thankful to everyone who came for cooperating with us. and that marks the end of my secondary school journey!♬ original sound - chy
However, the journey was not entirely smooth sailing. Cheyenne shared with Youthopia that upon returning from their holidays, they faced some pushback from the school.
The teachers were worried that planning for prom would burden the students with unnecessary stress during their O-Level examinations.
Despite the setback, the students held their ground and insisted on planning for the event. Eventually, the school decided to support their endeavours.
“When we told them we decided to continue, they were very supportive, wished us good luck and reminded us not to stress ourselves too much. Some teachers provided feedback and advice, and helped us to make farewell videos,” Cheyenne said.
In fact, Cheyenne revealed that the reason the team was confident with managing their workload was because they had already finished the bulk of the planning during the September holidays. They were only left with minor details to finalise by the time their exams rolled around.
Cheyenne credited her prior experience in planning school-based events for equipping her with the skillset to plan the prom. Although, she admitted that planning this larger scale event required her to step outside her comfort zone.
“Within school, you can just reach out to students or teachers and you know everyone. When planning prom, we had to reach out to organisations to negotiate or choose the best prices … Communication was very different and a bit scary to contact (different companies) because I’ve never done it before, and it could take a while to get a response,” Cheyenne shared.
After months of planning, the prom which was held on Nov 21, was dubbed a success.
To Cheyenne, the most memorable yet unexpected part of the experience was growing closer to her committee. Having come from different classes, some of the group had not spoken to each other prior to this, and she didn’t expect them to become fast friends.
Ultimately, Cheyenne feels proud about what she and her team have accomplished.
“There were so many people who doubted us. A lot of them only came for the food and didn’t expect the programme to be exciting.
“But we pulled through and a lot of them said it was better than they expected. It showed that our hard work paid off,” she shared.