To accept or not to accept: Promposals showcase upperclassmen creativity

Sasvath+Ramachandran+%2812%29+promposes+to+Yejin+Song+%2812%29.+With+prom+quickly+approaching+tomorrow%2C+numerous+promposals+took+place+on+campus+over+the+last+few+weeks%2C+ranging+from+the+simple+and+straightforward+ask+to+the+elaborately+designed+scheme.+%0A

Alysa Suleiman

Sasvath Ramachandran (12) promposes to Yejin Song (12). With prom quickly approaching tomorrow, numerous promposals took place on campus over the last few weeks, ranging from the simple and straightforward ask to the elaborately designed scheme.

The anxious pounding of a heart. The awkward upperclassman, standing still with a bouquet of colorful roses and a giant white poster. The surprised classmate, contemplating “to accept or not to accept” while glancing around in embarrassment. The envious onlookers. The recording phones and flashing cameras. The cheering crowd, erupting in thunderous applause. No, this is not the red carpet. This is a promposal.

With prom quickly approaching tomorrow, numerous promposals took place on campus over the last few weeks, ranging from the simple and straightforward ask to the elaborately designed scheme.

“You get to share people’s happiness when they’re promposing to somebody else, so it builds community,” Atri Banerjee (11) said. “The best promposals are the ones that play on an inside joke or the ones that [have] some other unique things.”

Upper school history and Latin teacher Clifford Hull, who has assisted several student promposals and witnessed many more, observed a decline in the zeal and amount of promposals from previous years.

“[Promposals] seemed to get really elaborate before the COVID lockdown,” Hull said. “People were trying to almost outdo one another. You see people with bouquets of flowers or balloons or some elaborate card, and then you know: Here comes a promposal. [Now], it’s [less] in comparison to the previous years, but hopefully next year, we’ll be back in the swing again, since everything’s back to normal.”

Nevertheless, juniors and seniors certainly have not shied away from showing off their artistic skills, creativity and courage in asking longtime crushes and friends alike to prom. Here are some promposal experiences students shared.

Cindy Su (12)

[Muthu Panchanatham (12)] made this poster with a basketball joke because I play basketball. He was supposed to dunk on me but then he missed, so the poster didn’t quite make sense. Then he redid it and he made it.

[The promposal] was expected, but I didn’t know what he was going to do. It was entertaining, it was definitely very creative. I liked that he put a lot of effort into it, and he has really good handwriting. I didn’t like when he dunked on me, but at least he didn’t make it because that would have been more embarrassing.

[I’m most looking forward to] getting ready with my friends and wearing a dress, having that event to end senior year. Finding my dress is the most fun part, but also the guy normally matches the girl, [so] he bought a tie, but it wasn’t the same color, so I’m going to make a tie with excess fabric from my dress. It’s not really working, but it’s really fun.

Sasvath Ramachandran (12)

As a senior, we didn’t get our prom last year, so this is the one big chance to do something like that because typically we don’t do this kind of thing for normal dances. [Yejin Song (12) and I] are going as friends. It’s a way to show gratitude, putting effort in for something like that.

Personally, I don’t mind drawing, so for me, it was fun making the poster. It was a nice thing for me to do and then something that she gets to keep. It’s like a memory. Yejin is constantly talking about “La La Land.” She’s watched it countless times. She really likes it, so I was thinking, “What are things that she likes?” I could have done any number of things like Taylor Swift, I could have made it about a specific club or something that were part of, some shared experience, but I thought “La La Land.” I also had the scene in my mind: I drew at the bottom [of the poster] the iconic scene where they’re dancing, so I think it all worked out. I knew that she didn’t want it to be too public like in front of everybody, so I planned for that.

She was sitting in front of Dobbins, and there weren’t too many people around. It was fun because our friends were there to record and take photos afterwards, which is good, because you want to remember it. When you’re doing it, you don’t remember much, but then you watch the videos and you look at the photos, and you’re like, “Oh yeah, that happened.” It’s a good memory to have as part of the prom process, because the prom itself is only three hours. The reason it’s a tradition is because of all the planning that goes into it beforehand.

It’s a good memory to have as part of the prom process, because the prom itself is only three hours. The reason it’s a tradition is because of all the planning that goes into it beforehand. ”

— Sasvath Ramachandran (12)

I’m going to [International Career Development Conference (ICDC)], so we’re actually leaving part way through prom. But what I’m most looking forward to is probably the pre-prom, so taking photos and having fun with not just my friends but also Yejin’s friends and this bigger group and being able to create memories that we’ll be able to remember for a long time.

Smrithi Sambamurthy (11)

I remember walking this way, and then one of my friends came up to me. At first I didn’t realize what she was doing, but she was turning me around. I was talking to [my friends], and I turned around, and [Rohan Gorti (11)] was standing there. He had a big stuffed monkey. To my knowledge, there were quite a few people there. Usually, I hate being the center of attention, but in that moment, it’s just the two people. I remember being super surprised and overwhelmed at first because I was like, “Oh my god, what do I say? What do I do?” Everyone’s watching me, but then I zoned in.

Usually, I hate being the center of attention, but in that moment, it’s just the two people. I remember being super surprised and overwhelmed at first because I was like, “Oh my god, what do I say? What do I do?” Everyone’s watching me, but then I zoned in. ”

— Smrithi Sambamurthy (11)

It’s a lot of seniors’ first and only prom, so for juniors it’s not as big and monumental as it is for them. I’m friends with a few seniors, so I’m really excited to have that opportunity to experience their last prom with them. Also, Winchester is so unique because a lot of schools do it at the aquarium or hotels, so being at Winchester, I’m interested in seeing how the decorations work.

Johnathan Mo (11)

[Sara Wan (11) and I] always played Word Hunt together — that’s how we became friends — so I thought it’d be cool to make a board. I drew it out on paper, and I called my friends for an opinion. It was nerve-wracking because it was in front of a lot of people at lunch, but once I did it, it was fun. I grabbed the poster, then I walked around. I snuck past, into Main, so Sara wouldn’t see me. Then I sent her a Word Hunt, so she’d be distracted on her phone. Then I came behind her and just tapped her and asked her. She said yes. It was a surprise, because I told her I wasn’t going to do one, so she was pretty surprised. Promposal [has been exciting] because I put a few hours into the poster and it turned out really well.

Kaitlyn Wang (10)

It felt really special. It was always my dream to get a big teddy bear. The flowers were really sweet too. It really made my day. I got out of my Spanish class, and I saw a huge squad standing there. [Anthony Zhao (11)] had a poster and flowers and this cute bear. He did the promposal in public, but he also sang in private.

Additional reporting by Ananya Sriram.