When you look at a prom photo that has been posted on Social Media, what do you see? There are likely smiling faces, girls in sparkly dresses and jewelry, fancy hairstyles, and guys wearing suits and ties. The pictures might be group shots, photos of couples, or selfies taken with best friends.

But what are the things you don't see in that prom photo? You don't see the drama that may have led up to that day—the disappointment of not having the date that was hoped for, the dresses that didn't fit or cost too much, the fight with a friend, or the people who were left out. You also don't see the struggles from the rest of the week; the failed math test, the extra hours worked to pay for prom, or the problems they may be experiencing at home.

Honestly, life is kind of like those prom photos. Some moments are beautiful and unforgettable, but there are also many moments that are not so shiny and perfect. Sometimes you have to go through a lot of stress and unpleasantness before you reach your goals or experience happy times. It doesn't make those joyful times less wonderful, it just makes them more real.

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means you have decided to look past the imperfections and be grateful for what you have.


Life is full of ups and downs. When you look at someone whose life seems to be picture perfect, remember that they are experiencing challenges you can't see. There are always difficulties, disappointments, and stressors in life. That's reality. The twists and turns that occur will provide you the perspective to be grateful for the good times. Without experiencing challenges, you may never truly appreciate those happy, shining moments in your life!​