With prom coming up, there’s so much to look forward to, and it seems like everyone is getting caught up in a whirlwind of must-do details, to make sure everything is covered, for a perfect prom night to remember forever. There’s the dress, shoes, hair, makeup, tan, purse, jewelry, nails, (doing everything imaginable to guarantee a spotless skin for the event,) losing that 5 lbs., dinner and after party details, getting your parents to lighten up a little and finding someone to take your best friend since preschool. Oh, there’s more, but among all of these issues there’s one that doesn’t always get talked about before the prom, but somehow manages to show up in the post-prom headlines of practically every city across America, recounting various degrees of regret. It’s called prom safety.
Safety Issues & Prom: A Real Attention-Getting Mix
Wait–Where’d you go? Don’t stop reading now. There’s a reason they’re called accidents–it’s because nobody ever sees them coming. Yeah, everybody feels safe thinking about prom–in fact, it’s the last thing to think about now, but when was the last time you really took a look at the prom stats that don’t lie? This isn’t about anyone treating anyone like a fool, and when the rubber hits the road, what you do on prom night is all your business. Who you go with, whether you or someone you’re with includes alcohol or drugs, whether you actually go the prom for that long, and where you go afterwards–all that will be totally your business on prom night. The thing is, it doesn’t take all that much focus on safety to be safe on prom night, and be able to translate the night into a great story you’ll be around to tell your friends at college about in the fall.
The Rite of Passage
Prom always has been and is a major high school highlight. Being safe comes down to decisions. These decisions will be made both before and during prom. A few may even be made after prom. The decisions will be up to you. The decisions, or choices you make will depend on your answer to one, simple question: Do you care about you or your friends getting killed or date-raped on prom night? If you answered “No,” you’re free to move on to the next topic. If you answered “Yes,” read on.
Know the Threats
Everything ramps up on prom night–the energy, the people, the music, the vibes, the fashion (duh,) the parties, the after parties, and all the money spent on this one night. Safety becomes even more of an issue.
When people drink, they will do, say and think things that they would never do if they weren’t drinking. If alcohol becomes part of your prom fun, know this: You will lose all control over what happens, being safe, who lives and who dies, who is sober enough to ride with and whether or not your date might snap and be killed driving a car or turn on you and do something you can’t prevent. You just cannot know. Plus, drinking is one surefire way to ruin that dress you’re planning on wearing. It’s pretty much a guarantee. Make sure to take lots of pictures of it before you drink, because afterwards, it could be ripped, badly soiled, someone could throw up on you and it, and you’ll never be able to even resell it like you planned on doing. Total waste. You might not be the one who dies–it could be your date, or your best friend, or even your parents whose car gets hit by a drunk prom driver. Hey, not everybody dies, either. Some just spend the rest of their lives on breathing equipment or in a wheelchair. The safe choice–the ONLY safe choice is DON’T Drink. Don’t tolerate others drinking, either. That person mocking you for being such a mood killer could be somebody whose life you save. You never know. Practice saying “No.” There are a lot of people who wish they had. Don’t become one of them.
The Other Prom Issues to Cover
- Your Shoes: Choose your shoes wisely. You can find some awesome shoes that are perfect inspo for your dress without diving into the realm of dangerous. The thinner and higher the heels, the more you’ll need to spend sitting. Choose shoes you can dance in. Those high, wobbly things might kill in a catalog picture or even on you, when you look at them in the mirror, but the more dangerous they are, the more awkward you’ll look walking in them. And it’s supposed to be about looking good, right? Think about it.
- Appoint a Contact Person: Arrange with a trusted responsible adult or family member to be your info relay. Do a contract with them that says they’ll answer, whenever you call, and you can tell them anything without criticism. They’ll agree to come to your aid in any way you need to ensure your safety. No judgement, just help, a phone call away.
- Friends Network: The very best idea is to do everything in groups of at least four or more. Take turns calling each other when separated to sustain the connection. Create some codes to say or text if you need help or anything. If you are uncomfortable around anyone, do not go along with what they suggest. Code text your friends. Keep up with where each other is all night long.
- After Prom: Only go to parties where there will be adults supervising. Let your contact/parents know where you are and where you go with each relocation.
- Safe Rides: No one wants to do prom night in a parent’s car. Chip in with friends and hire a limo for the night. Then nobody will have all of the responsibility for everyone on them.
- Make a Plan, and Stick to it: The best way to make the entire night a safe one is to make a plan for the whole night. Don’t leave time for just riding around or hanging out. Make something happen all night, and do your best to stick to it or at least do something you would not mind the whole world watching tomorrow.