Prom is an exciting time for high schoolers. It’s a celebration you’ve been looking forward to for years. Friends and dancing are a perfect combination for a good time. However, it can all be ruined by an uninvited guest: alcohol.
You don’t need alcohol to make your prom night one to remember. In fact, you’ll remember it much better without drinking underage. Here are 10 reasons why it’s a bad decision to drink at prom and why alcohol could end up spoiling your special night.
1. Drinking at Prom Could End Your Prom Early
One of the first reasons why you should not drink at prom is also one of the most obvious. Having alcoholic beverages at a school function is prohibited and against the rules. That’s not to mention the fact that drinking underage is, you know, illegal.
If you’re caught drinking underage at prom or in possession of alcohol at prom, you can bet that you’re going to be asked to leave. Depending on your school, that ride out of prom may be in a cop car. No one wants to end their night early because they were caught trying to sneak in alcohol. Leave the alcohol out if you want to stay for your entire prom.
2. Underage Drinking at Prom Could Get You Suspended or Worse
Drinking at prom can do more than get you kicked out of the event. It could also get you kicked out of school. Drinking underage at prom, or any school function, could land you in serious trouble. On top of being thrown out of prom, you could also end up suspended or even expelled.
That’s not something you want to have on your high school record when you apply to colleges. The last thing anyone wants is to have their graduation or college admissions impacted because of a bad decision at prom. Drinking at prom is never worth throwing years of hard work in high school down the drain.
3. Keep It a Night to Remember
Prom is supposed to be a night to remember. That’s hard to do when alcohol is involved. Alcohol can impact your memory, making it difficult to remember things. The hippocampus is the part of your brain that handles memory and learning. It’s also where some of the biggest damage from underage drinking takes place.
Alcohol impacts memory by blocking a receptor that processes and stores your memories. Because teenage brains are not fully developed yet (the brain often fully develops near age 25), alcohol can have a much larger impact on high schoolers than on adults. Don’t let drinking at prom turn a wonderful evening into a forgotten night. Stay sober and make lasting memories with your friends.
4. Focus On Your Date, Not Underage Drinking
It’s important to remember that prom isn’t a special night just for you. Prom is also a special night for your date, your friends, and even your family. Think of how excited your mom is when she’s taking the pictures of you and your date on the stairway. Consider how long it took your date to find the perfect dress or tuxedo.
If you’re focused on drinking at prom, then your attention can’t be on your date. What’s more, you could end up embarrassing your date or your friends and ruining the night for them. Be a thoughtful and considerate date by paying attention to them, dancing together, and generally being the polite, charming, and fun-loving person you are, no alcohol required.
5. You’re Better Than Peer Pressure
You should never do something just because you think it’s something all your friends are doing. Research shows that 90 percent of teens think their classmates will drink at prom. Just the idea that everyone else is doing it is an example of indirect peer pressure, one of the six types of peer pressure.
Peer pressure is never a good reason to do something. This is especially true for something that is both illegal and dangerous. You don’t need to drink at prom because you assume other people will be, or even if they pressure you directly. Rise above the peer pressure and avoid drinking at prom.
6. Drinking at Prom Often Leads to Drunk Driving
Alcohol impairs your decision-making abilities. This leads to making irresponsible decisions not only during prom but after prom as well. That could mean getting behind the wheel of a car. Research shows that nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities involving teens happen between the months of April and June. It’s not a coincidence that these months also line up with both prom and graduation.
One survey revealed that 87 percent of teens reported their friends are more apt to drive after drinking than call home. This is often because of worries they would get in trouble by asking their parents to pick them up.
This is why it’s important parents take the pledge not to punish their teens for calling them if they feel unsafe. It may mean adopting a failsafe for teens, like the “X-Plan.” The “X-Plan” is a system to help teens get out of a jam by texting an “X” to their parents and having them pick them up, no questions asked.
7. You’ll Worry Your Loved Ones
Parents, grandparents, and other family members worry about you. They can’t help it. Your family just loves you so much and wants to make sure you’re safe and happy. And we all know that parents have enough to worry about without alcohol being involved.
You can help put the minds of your family at ease by agreeing to stay alcohol-free on your prom night. By being clear and upfront with parents ahead of time, you can give them confidence that they can trust you to make the right decisions. It’s a little thing that can go a long way to helping your loved ones worry less.
8. You Can Have Fun at Prom Without Alcohol
The most important thing about prom is that it’s supposed to be fun! There’s a fun theme like “Enchantment Under the Sea” or “Roaring Twenties.” Everyone is dressed their best. You get to go out and have a fun meal. Then you get to dance and hang out all night. Everything you need for a great time is already there. Do you really even need alcohol?
Spending your prom worried about drinking underage is missing out on the point of prom entirely. Instead of thinking about ways to do something illegal and potentially get yourself in big trouble, focus instead on having a great time without alcohol. Practice your dance moves and think about the perfect request for the DJ that will really get everyone moving. You don’t need alcohol for that!
Start the Conversation and Enjoy Your Prom Alcohol-Free!
You don’t need alcohol to make your prom a special evening. All the ingredients for a wonderful night are already there for you! All you need is a sharp outfit, a half-decent DJ or band, and a few of your best friends. Leave the alcohol out to ensure everyone has a safe and amazing night to remember for all the right reasons.