Get ready for prom
What teens need to know for a great experience on this special night
Watch your budget
If cost is an issue for you, look for alternatives to spending a lot of money on a prom dress, transportation, etc. Expensive doesn't necessarily mean better.
Plan ahead for safety
Tell family members or a trusted adult what your plans are ahead of time. Make an agreement with friends to check on one another during the evening. Be sure someone you trust is available for you to call or text if your plans change or you need help.
Just say no
Some people feel pressured to drink, smoke, use drugs, or have sex on prom night. However, drinking is responsible for over 4,500 deaths among young people each year and is associated with other problems like sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy. Alcohol and drugs hurt your judgment and may result in you being harmed or harming others. Just because others do something doesn’t make it a good idea or right for you. It’s OK to say no.
You don't need a date to have fun
Whether you plan to go with a date, with friends, or on your own, the point is to have a good time. Going with a group or meeting friends at the event can be just as fun as going with one special person. Whether you're going solo or with a group, make sure you don't drink and drive, or ride with someone who has been drinking.
Teen drivers are four times more likely than older drivers to crash. Always wear a safety belt — no matter how short the trip. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t get in a car with a driver who has been drinking.
Watch out for dating violence
Dating violence is a very real issue for many people. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples. It can occur in couples who have been together a long time and between people who just met. Many teens do not report it because they are afraid to tell friends and family. The abuse can be verbal, emotional, physical or sexual. Know beforehand what your sexual boundaries are, and communicate those to your partner. Respect yourself and others, avoid alcohol and drugs, and tell family or call 911 if you or someone you know is being abused or is in danger.
Plan for after-prom parties
If you plan to go to an after-prom party, be sure it is adult-supervised. Be aware of your surroundings. And it’s always good to go with a “buddy.” Avoid using alcohol and drugs. Make sure parents know where you are at all times in case of emergency. Call a parent, guardian, or someone you trust in case plans change or you need help.
Adapted from It's Your Prom! Make it Safe, Healthy, and Fun from the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov)