How to Win Prom King (or Queen)
I took home the crown and Prom King title in 2009. My experience was probably unique, but I think my tips can be useful anywhere and for any generation. I went to an awesome high school/college program that starts when you're a junior (11th grade). That means my classmates and I would only have two years to get to know each other, and the graduating class was about 150 students. Looking back now, I realize some of the skill sets that allowed me to take the thrown as well as how my queen stole my side after only being at our school for our final senior year.
1. Be Friendly.
Sounds crazy right? Didn't see that coming? I mean a little more than being friendly. I knew the names and had introduced myself to everyone in every class I took. I personally spoke to each person for at least 15 minutes upon meeting them and got to know their plans, interests, and hobbies. That's not to say that I didn't develop close friends, I did. I had a social circle, but I didn't let that hold me back from meeting new people and having new experiences. I did my best to broaden that circle. Everyone wants to be included, and I was happy to oblige. It generally takes a certain type of out going person, but as long as you're genuine, people will respect you. This brings us to...
2. Be Authentic.
To be authentic is to be real. What this means is to know who you are and what you're like. What do you enjoy? What do you dislike or hate? Don't change your opinion on the whim of who you're talking to, stand up for your own style. Most of all, don't feign interest in another person. Genuinely enjoy what you're discussing. If you find that a person is very different from you, look for a topic you both might share. Just be considerate of the other person's views. A large part of being authentic stems from your own self knowledge and your ability to...
3. Be Confident.
If you're happy with the way you are and the direction your life is taking, people will see it. A lot of people struggle in this department, and flock to those who exude that level of calm in themselves. I don't know of another way to gain confidence than to be truly honest with yourself and others. You can build your confidence by perfecting your skills, paying closer attention to your appearance, working on your relationships, and striving for the keys 1 and 2 above.
4. Get exposure!
How do politicians get elected? They have butt tons of 1 and 3 (but are definitely lacking in number 2), and they have a great deal of money spent on exposure. They run ads, go on media, and publish online. Another factor that you will primarily be working on is word of mouth. One of my competing candidates had a lot of exposure as the class president. I would recommend joining a team, squad, or noticeable extra-curricular activity. He was also in all of the honors classes. Another one of my opponents was in the school council and in the non-honors classes. While I didn't do any extra-curricular activities (unless hanging out or playing hackey sack counts), I was in a non-honors math class and two other honors classes. I met all kinds of different groups. Do what you can so that people know your face, name, and what you're like.
5. Stay on track.
Having a social life is a part of human nature, but don't let that get in the way of your studies. Make sure you're on track to graduate and have plans for what you'll do after high school. You don't want the teachers or principal on your back because you're slipping. Winning prom king or queen would be awesome, but it's really a small blip in your overall life.
What do others have to add?
Do you see it differently? What other tips would you add to this list? Would you cross one out? Do you have any specific questions? Say so in the comments!