Finishing school is a major milestone for any student. There are many reasons to celebrate at this point in your life. Not only are you finishing a major chapter of your life, but there is lots to look forward to. Moving on to the stage is always exciting, whether that be further study, your first full-time job, or anything else. As well as this, many students will have recently finished their final exams, which always deserves some celebration! Often, schools will organise a prom, where the whole year group can come together one final time to honour the occasion. However, the details of this tend to vary between schools.
Generally, prom is at the end of Year 11 when students have completed their GCSEs. Some colleges do indeed have prom at the end of your final year (Year 13). Although there are differences between colleges and traditional sixth forms, students are still of similar ages, studying equivalent qualifications. Finishing your course is something that can be universally celebrated, so colleges may host a formal evening, rather than the typical prom. Of course, there are plenty of ways to celebrate with your friends, if you aren’t able to hold an event with your whole year.
Read on to find out more about how prom works in colleges in the UK, and more information on finishing your college education.
Do colleges have prom?
In most cases, the answer to this will be yes, colleges do have prom. Although they were originally found in American high schools, over the past decade or so, proms have become nearly as popular in the UK. Colleges are no exception to this.
Many people expect sixth forms to have a prom after the year group finishes their A-Level exams. However, just because something happens at sixth forms doesn’t mean this is the case for colleges. Often, ‘sixth form’ and ‘college’ are used interchangeably in everyday conversations. It can be hard to know what exactly the differences and similarities are. For a detailed guide to colleges in the UK, check out this article from Think Student.
In terms of prom, sixth form and colleges are fairly similar. At the end of your final year studying there, the school will most likely organise a prom celebration. This is a great opportunity to celebrate, dressing up in formal wear and having fun with the people you have been studying with for the past two years.
Of course, the details vary between each college. For example, it may be the students who do most of the organisation. Additionally, some colleges have most students working towards qualifications that are assessed by coursework instead of final exams. In this case, prom may be later in the summer – perhaps after results day, which will be later than those celebrating after their A-Level exams.
Wherever you go to school, it’s worth checking your college’s specific arrangements for prom, or any other celebration they might be having. However, for some idea as to what to expect at prom, have a look at this Think Student article.
What happens when you finish college?
Of course, prom is not the only thing that happens after finishing college. While you have definitely earned a big celebration after getting through the stress of coursework or exams (or both!), there are lots of ways to start preparing for life after school.
Many students in the UK go on to higher education in the form of university, but this is far from the only option. Lots of pupils choose an alternative career path after finishing college, such as apprenticeships, or jobs in industry. This page of the government website has a full guide to your options post-18.
The majority of university and apprenticeship courses start in September, so there is plenty of time in the summer after finishing school – and lots of ways to fill that time. Often, you will be moving away from home to live on your own for the first time. While this can be a scary change, it can be really fun to celebrate this change. You might want to visit your new home before moving in if that’s possible, or simply go shopping with friends for all the things you’ll need for your new room.
Whatever you choose to do after college, remember that you deserve a little celebration, having reached this milestone! Often this can be in the form of a prom, but there are plenty of ways you can celebrate with your friends over the summer.