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Have a blast without getting blasted at prom

Prom is supposed to be fun. You can help guarantee it will be by making sure you are smart about your plans. tb-two* doesn't want to be your nanny, but we do want you to be smart and safe. Check out these suggestions:

Have a talk with yourself. Honestly, are you really willing to risk graduation (or other consequences if you're not a senior) by doing something stupid at prom? Make yourself a promise (see last tip for more info) that you'll party alcohol- and drug-free, away from people who might not share the idea. It is possible to have a great time without getting drunk or drugged, which is illegal, dangerous and just plain dumb. It is also possible to have a great time without landing in a hotel room with one or more people who don't have your best interests at heart. Once you make this commitment, the rest of these tips should be easy to follow.

Choose good company. Know your date and/or the group you're going with. If sketchy people or even people you don't know well wind up in your group, talk to the others and meet beforehand. If you discover someone's shopping list for the liquor store, kick 'em out. If you're still not comfortable, split from the group.

Cover all the details. No detail is too small to consider. Who's driving? Whose house are you going to beforehand? Will the parents be home, and what is their philosophy about the lock on the liquor cabinet? What are you going to do afterward? Watch for future stories this month about great after-prom alternatives to piling into a hotel room. Make sure everyone in your group is onboard.

It's just a dance. Okay, a really big deal of a dance. But why spoil the elegance of the night by seeing prom as YOUR REALLY BIG CHANCE TO GET CRAZY? You'll be in a really nice dress or tuxedo, hanging with friends, dancing. Don't mess it up with bad judgment.

If you choose to flout our advice ... tsk-tsk! Just kidding (actually, not kidding) — if you do find yourself in a prom-night pickle, make sure to buzz mom or dad or another responsible adult. Risking embarrassment, or spending a few weeks grounded, is far better than risking your life. Since 2011, the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation has sponsored AAA PROMise, a program that encourages students and parents to discuss a plan for a safe way home should things go wrong. Students who have made the AAA PROMise agree to resist the urge to drive while intoxicated or ride with an impaired driver. If they cannot get home safely, they are encouraged to call their parents, who may then call 1-800-222-4357 for a free tow home for the family car. Check at your school for more info.

From the mouths of

peers

What's the best way to stay safe at prom?

Compiled by Liz Tsourakis, Hillsborough High, and Brandon Sweat, Lakewood High

Travel in groups and stay in the center (of the dance floor).

Just don't be stupid, for example drinking, doing drugs, leaving your cup where somebody can put something in it, and wearing shoes that are too tall, because then when you are walking on a boardwalk, your heel will get stuck and you will be stranded there for the rest of your life. Also, don't be afraid to throw some elbows if people get too close.

See the thing about it is, it's not a situation you get into. As a clean alternative you could always go out to eat with a few of your friends before you go home. If you do drink and stuff, don't drive, and make sure someone around is sober and can drive.

Try to stay with a group of friends that you trust, because if anything were to happen, you'd know that they would have your back.

Don't drink and drive. And don't post any bomb threats (like another student did at 2011's homecoming dance).

Have a blast without getting blasted at prom 03/04/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 2:12pm]
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