Prom Night is a great time to hang out with your friends and have fun without the usual restrictions of the classroom. It’s a celebration of not just the good memories of school, but also the passage into adulthood.
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and skip out on safety, we’ve all been there before, but it’s important to avoid a bad situation before it begins. Luckily there are plenty of things you can do on your prom night to keep yourself safe while still having an amazing night you’ll never forget.
Cell phones and photos
Cell phones have been great tools for prom night in some ways, allowing us to quickly capture magical moments and take nostalgic selfies that we can instantly share with friends and family, but keep in mind as you take your photos to be aware of the privacy of other people. Some people don’t want to appear in your pictures, especially if they may be of an embarrassing nature.
Just to be safe, before snapping group photos, call out that you’re taking a snapshot before clicking that button so anybody who doesn’t want to be part of your Kodak moment has the time to step away. Taking silly pictures is absolutely fine but if a photo comes up that seems a little inappropriate or humiliating, talk to the person in the photo before sharing it or simply don’t share it at all.
Cell phones still have other benefits though, especially the ability to call for a drive home or to contact the authorities in case of an emergency. In many North American jurisdictions, it’s free of charge to dial the police, fire department or emergency services regardless of which cell phone plan you have.
Write down the phone number of your parent/guardian or a close relative so that you can get a drive home. Walking home alone on prom night is dangerous, and be especially wary of taking a ride from strangers or from friends who may be intoxicated.
Always have a good battery charge on your phone and bring a plug-in charger with you if needed. If you have trouble locating a safe ride home, talk to your school administration. In recent years some schools have even had police officers available to safely drive prom attendees home if a parent was unavailable.
Alcohol and Drugs
As much as schools try to control it as best they can, alcohol and drugs are both often frequent on prom night. Remember though, you don’t have to use any of these things if you don’t want to, no matter what your friends say.
Sometimes as awkward as it can be, the best thing to do in a situation involving drugs or drinks is to tell an adult. Look for a teacher or parent chaperone. You may feel like you’re ratting out your friends but it’s the right thing to do.
Most schools reserve the right to revoke admission to the prom for any student or faculty member who shows up drunk or high because it poses a safety issue and it’s illegal, so consider this yourself before trying any substances that you know are banned. Keep an eye out for “spiked” fruit punch and “roofies”, too.
Spiked drinks and roofies are beverages, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, that contain illegal drugs in them which can cause unwanted or even dangerous effects on whoever happens to pick up the spiked drink.
To avoid this, watch for any suspicious people dropping things into cups or punch bowls, don’t drink anything with a suspicious frothy cloud floating on top of the liquid and don’t share drinks with anybody. Immediately tell an adult if you suspect someone has spiked a drink.
Avoid going out in the dark or leaving the room that the prom is being hosted in. It might be tempting to sneak off with your friends for a night of rebellion, but it can also lead to trouble, especially if you’re caught trespassing in areas that the school has temporarily closed off. If you happen to get lost after going outside, try to retrace your steps and call somebody if needed.
Don’t feel like you need to do things you’re uncomfortable with if your friends or your date are pressuring you into anything, especially if it’s something dangerous or illegal.
If you feel bothered by it and your peers still refuse to quit pushing you to do something you don’t want to do, tell an adult.
If you see another student or teacher being bullied, assaulted or harassed on prom night or you see property being vandalized, don’t just be a bystander. Find an adult chaperone and get them to put a stop to it.
Clothes and Shoes
Prom night is a wonderful way to express your style, and it’s just traditional that many students wear bold stilettos and long glittering dresses, but whatever you decide to wear, dress appropriately for the weather.
Bring a coat if needed, keep a pair of leggings handy in your purse in case it gets cold and avoid wearing heels if you are physically unable to walk in them or if they are causing obvious damage to your feet.
Sometimes a nice pair of flats or even platform boots can look just as beautiful as heels and be less damaging to your feet. If you have no choice but to walk home on prom night and it’s dark, wear light colors, avoid shades like black, purple or dark gray and carry a small flashlight with you so you can find your way back home.
Bring a change of clothes if possible so you can avoid tripping over a long skirt or the cuffs of tuxedo pants. Talk to your faculty beforehand and find out if it might be possible to leave your prom attire in your locker and retrieve it the next day so you don’t have to carry it home with you at night where it could easily be tripped over.
Never take shortcuts, especially through wooded areas, vacant lots, industrial property, unpaved areas and empty fields. Have some extra cash set aside in your purse to call a taxi if need be. It might just be safer in the long run.
Remember, prom night is meant to be a fun and exciting time. If you ever feel unsafe or worried during your prom, talk to the appointed chaperones who are there. Most of them are usually teachers and school administration who you’ll recognize, and they’ve had years of experience dealing with managing the safety and student conduct of prom night.
As long as you avoid any risks and be careful, your big night should be a great time for you to look towards the future, congratulate old friends, dance and make memories to last a lifetime.