The holidays are coming up, which means teens and college students will probably be attending a few parties. Whether it’s a big dinner with friends or a Christmas bash, being safe and comfortable during celebrations is crucial. These are five things you can do to ensure party safety while still having a ton of fun:
- Know where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and how you’re getting home. This is a truly crucial part of attending a party that many people overlook, and it’s especially important to teens who aren’t driving yet. I always say that traveling in groups is your best bet. Whenever I’m out with my friends, we always know where we’re going, how we can get there, and have a few parents on speed dial to drive us back home. You don’t want to be caught in any situation that involves not knowing where you’re headed or being stranded!
- Stay calm, and say “no.” Unfortunately, teenagers often manage to get their hands on alcohol at parties, and some drink almost until their lives are threatened. This might not be a problem for you, until your friends start drinking and want you to join in. I’ve personally been in this situation myself, and I will tell you, refusing a drink is getting more difficult. Your friends ask you non-stop to take a sip of an alcoholic beverage, and when you say no, they might tease you. Just take a deep breath, stay calm and tell your friends that you really don’t feel comfortable taking that drink. Honestly, if they keep pushing you, leave the event. True friends should not make you feel pressured and uncomfortable.
You do not need drugs or alcohol to have fun. More teens than I care to admit believe that the only way to truly have a good time is drinking heavily or doing a spectrum of drugs. I’m here to tell you that you do not need to do that, or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Drinking and doing drugs is not “cool,” nor is it something that should be glorified. Drinking can badly damage your brain, which doesn’t even finish developing until you’re 21. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning and other serious injuries. Do not become a member of that grim statistic. Have fun responsibly.
If a guy’s being a little too pushy, don’t be afraid to tell him to stop. I’ve seen this many times. At a party, a boy can cross a line, whether he is making crude comments, unwanted advances or anything you don’t want him to do. Don’t be afraid to tell him to back off. Firmly say, “Leave me alone” or “no.” If he doesn’t stop, stick with your group of friends or stand with a trusted guy friend; never be left alone with him. If he continuously persists, once again, leave the event. If you think you were sexually assaulted, call 911 or go to the ER immediately. Even if you weren’t sober at the time, it was absolutely not your fault, and no one is going to judge you. If you did not give your consent, someone committed a crime against you and should pay for what they did, no matter what position you were in.
Call for help! If you or anyone at the party is in any kind of danger that you can’t resolve, call for help. Calling 911, or even your parents, can save a life. Yeah, you might break up the party you’re attending or get into some trouble with your parents, but if someone’s life is in danger, or a serious crime was committed against another person, a scolding or a dispersing party shouldn’t matter. If you’re in danger, stranded or afraid, call your parents. Trust me, if you need serious medical attention, they’re not going to worry about berating you for being at a rowdy party. They’re going to run and help you immediately before anything else, because they’re your parents and they love you. When in doubt, call for help.
Hopefully, these five tips will enable you to have a blast at your holiday bashes, while being safe, comfortable and secure!
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