The Quill

The Student News Site of BASIS Independent Silicon Valley

The Quill

The Quill

Prom at the Movies

Previously published Jun 2. 2021

Previously published Jun 2. 2021

It was Saturday night at the only drive-in theater in the valley. Cars steadily flowed into the old-school theater’s well-worn parking lot. Teachers, deans, and other BISV staff greeted the students and gave them goodie bags. Many of the juniors and seniors were eager not for the movie itself (Ocean’s Eleven, featuring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts) but rather to see most of their classmates after thirteen months. Students had been meeting their friends in person, of course. Still, until this fateful night at the outdoor cinema, the phenomenon of running into someone outside of one’s friend group in the gray BISV hallways was merely a faint memory.


Students were eager to take their coveted prom photos, even though a decent portion of the students were not dressed up for the highly modified event. Some found it daunting—after a year of not dressing up for a formal event, their half-decent clothes had collected dust after being relegated to the dark corner of their closet…


After tuning their radios to the designated FM frequency, many students were loath to sit in their cars and watch a movie. After all, this was the last chance to see most of their classmates in person since the event occurred before the BISV administration had announced plans for in-person graduation. Students socialized, took photos, and took the opportunity to rekindle their bonds.


The Class of 2021 joins the Class of 2020 in being the first cohort of students since the Great Recession to begin college in a period of economic downturn. As they say farewell to each other and embark on their life journeys, they will be bound by this collective experience of loss — having endured four trimesters of online learning, having been deprived of many end-of-high-school traditions, and having applied to college while speaking with their counselors through a computer screen.


Although it was an unconventional prom experience, this was certainly an unforgettable event for many Bobcats. It is not the loss that ought to bind them, but rather the innovation and creativity that has arisen. The impromptu group photo at the drive-in theater, illuminated by the setting sun, encapsulates the spirit of the COVID-19 era — enjoying life as much as possible despite the bad circumstances.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Colin Lim, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Comments (0)

All The Quill Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *