So Your School Had Prom...

As we sit between the two weekends of our local proms, I know there are many mixed emotions among the teens in our area ranging from excitement, to frustration to hurt.

Let's start with the excitement. There's those with their first date or an unlimited budget to spend. The ones with the perfect dress from the boutique of their choice or perfectly fitted tux. These students have been counting down the days for weeks, if not years, for their opportunity to shine during their dinner out, the grand march and the post prom party.

Frustration. There is the frustration from those choosing not to go because they would be too embarrassed by what their budget could afford or that they may even have to borrow something. (Our school was so small we got to go to all 4 homecomings and all 4 proms. My grand total after 8 dances and 4 years was $100. It doesn't have to be expensive to be fun!)

Hurt. The grand march terrifies some because it's another opportunity for everyone to see that they are arriving alone. Perhaps if you are going alone you are even thinking of arriving at a time when you can easily sneak through to avoid anyone noticing that you drove by yourself. There is the hurt of knowing that nobody asked you to be their date or hurt because you are your best friend's third wheel as her and her boyfriend invite you along for the ride.

No matter what you are feeling this week as your prom has ended or it is just around the corner, I am here to tell you five questions that nobody will ever ask you in real life.

1. What did you wear to prom?

Of course some schools have a policy that you can't come in jeans and a t-shirt, but guess what? The only requirement other than that is nice clothes. Show up in nice clothes, and rock the dance floor in nice clothes. Notice I didn't say EXPENSIVE clothes. That brings us to question #2.

2. How much did your dress/tux cost?

There is no form to fill out when you arrive, and no prize if your dress or tux was the most expensive. Nobody asks money questions when they get to be adults, so why make that the main focus of your life at age 16? I promise you, you will love yourself more if you ask your parents to put that money in a savings account until your graduation day, or even better, take that money and go somewhere fun as a family or with your group of friends. Take the focus off of what you are wearing on the outside, and put that focus on who you are becoming on the inside. Expensive clothes won't get you anywhere in life, but being kind to those around you certainly will.

3. Who was your date?

I know ONE couple in my entire life who went to prom together. Got married. Are still married and are living happily ever after. Do not stress about who your prom date is. Go with someone with the intentions that you, as a group, will have a blast together, for one of the last times in your life. Yes there are reunions, weddings and other events where you may all be together again, but remember this night as the night you included someone who wouldn't have otherwise been someone you would talk to. Literally dance like nobody is watching and I promise this will be a night you will never forget.

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