Your comprehensive guide to responsible teen partying

Let's face it, you're not going to have that exact Project X experience no matter how hard you may try. Unless you're comfortable with burning your parents' house down, which if you are, I strongly advise you reconsider.

Partying is supposed to be fun, right? It's a great way to let loose and unwind, especially after a stressful period such as exams. That's when IT'S LIT* (are we still saying this?).

What would make it even more fun is to not have any regrets the next morning (no matter how much movies romanticise this). 

Everyone wants to have the best party or the best time, and trust me, there are ways to have the most fun without being reckless and remaining safe.

Tips for safe and responsible clubbing: 

Clubs

1. Eat before you go

If you're going to consume alcohol, make sure you get a good meal in beforehand so that the absorption of alcohol isn't as rapid and you don't end up a wreck. 

2. Secure your accommodation

If you are away on holiday with friends and renting accommodation, make sure everything is secure before you head out. Before leaving your accommodation for the day or night, ensure that anything valuable is locked away in a drawer or safe, recommends Charnel Hattingh, national marketing and communications manager at Fidelity ADT. "If your accommodation is a holiday house or apartment, make sure all the doors are locked, the windows are properly shut and that the alarm is activated if a system is installed," she adds.

3. Never leave your drink unattended

It's way too easy for someone to slip something into your drink. Always be vigilant and don't leave your drink standing alone.

4. Keep the top of your drink covered

Even when your drink is in your hand, it's still pretty easy for someone to slip something into your open cup. Reduce the chances of that happening by holding your hand over your cup. It sounds like an effort but you get used to it and pretty soon you'll do it mindlessly.

5. Don't accept drinks from strangers 

I think this one is pretty self-explanatory, there are some really strange people out there. Now is not the time to start trusting a stranger to give you drinks. 

6. Keep your belongings close 

Pick-pocketing in a club setting is more common than you'd think. Keep a sidebag on you instead and leave anything valuable at home.

7. Drink water 

If you're going to be drinking alcohol, drink water in between to stay hydrated and help flush out the toxins in your body.

8. Don't mix your drinks

It definitely won't end very well.

9. Don't just smoke things from people

Whether it is something as seemingly "harmless" as a cigarette or some sort of vaping contraption, you never know what could be in it. 

10. Know your limits

There's nothing cute about having to basically crawl out of the club at the end of the night, throwing up or slurring your words. Know your limit and stick to it.

11. Have someone responsible and trustworthy with you 

The goal is to always be able to look after yourself even when you've had a drink, but it's better to have someone sober with you who you know is responsible.

12. Have a reliable lift home 

DO NOT TAKE A RIDE WITH ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN DRINKING. Even if this person claims to know their limits or be capable of driving when they've had a drink. If you have a friend like this, insist that they don't drive themselves. Not only would they be putting their life at risk, but the lives of others as well.

Make use of a cab, Uber or Taxify if your driver has been drinking.

According to Minister of Education Debbie Schafer and Minister of Transport and Public Works Donald Grant, "a no-nonsense approach will again be adopted to any [driving] transgressions during this [holiday/ celebratory] time."

They shared some tips regarding road safety: 

  • Always make sure you have a sober friend who is the designated driver. 
  • Always obey the speed limit and other rules of the road.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, including the use of cellphones.
  • Avoid late night driving where possible, or driving when you are tired.
  • Ensure that ALL passengers are always buckled up. It is extremely dangerous and also against the law. It is usually the passengers that are not buckled up that kill the other passengers, because the unbuckled ones become wrecking balls in a collision, and can severely injure or kill others, even passengers who have buckled up.

13. Don't wander off

Stick with your friends or someone you trust at all times and don't wander off alone. If you make a quick trip to the bar or bathroom, let a friend know. 

14. Avoid conflict

Some people look for trouble when they consume alcohol and will look for any reason to start something. Don't retaliate, simply avoid the situation. No one wants to be that person who gets involved in drama in the club and ruins it for everyone.

15. Always keep some extra cash on you

It's always good to keep a little extra cash on you just in case, you never know when you might need it.

16. Keep your hands to yourself

It's really not that difficult. Consent is a thing.

17. Have spatial etiquette

Sometimes you're in a really small venue or there's just generally not too much space and you'll have someone who thinks they're on the set of You Got Served and dance in everyone's way. Be conscious of your elbows or swinging hands in people's faces. Also don't jump on anyone's toes, nobody likes a toe-jumper.

If you've got the space though, whip out those Napoleon Dynamite dance moves. If not, save it for your bedroom like the rest of us (just me? okay).

Tips for safe and responsible house parties: 

House Parties

1. Make sure your parents actually know about the party

You ain't slick, parents have a sixth sense about these things. Plus you have neighbours who could easily inform your parents about the party. Also, you'll have a much better time without the stress of getting caught.

2. Keep guest list limited

Invite a set amount of people that you want to invite and make it clear that it is not an open invitation. Only having people over that you actually know will keep things more controlled and civilised. 

Also, you'll be sharing your address with people so be smart about it.

3. Invite people you know can handle themselves

Nobody wants a reckless guest at their parties who ends up spoiling the fun, so weed out the bad ones.

4. Be clear about whether you want people to bring things along

If it's a BYOB, or BYOS (Bring your own snacks), make sure you're clear about it. There's always going to be those people who don't stick to the request but make it clear anyway.

5. Put all your valuables and fragile objects in a safe spot

To avoid anything being broken or even stolen, keep all your valuables in a safe spot. Rather safe than sorry.

6. Be a responsible host

If you're going to be hosting a party, make sure you actually take care of your guests so remain as sober as possible.

7. Mingle

Make sure to socialise with all of your guests to ensure that everyone is okay. Also, don't stress too much and miss out on the fun, find a good balance.

8. Introduce your guests to each other

Help everyone socialise and avoid awkward situations. At the same time, don't force anyone to interact either, but introducing guests is just good etiquette. 

9. Keep your pets safe

Make sure your pets are somewhere safe or someone is looking after them if the music is going to be too loud. Also, if your pet isn't good with people then it's best they be kept away from the crowd.

10. Lock rooms 

People do really strange and suspicious things behind closed doors, so cut down on the odds of that happening by making sure all the rooms in your house are kept closed or locked. 

11. Make sure you have enough snacks 

Keep some snacks hidden away so that if you are to run out, you'd have some extra on standby just in case.

12. Be respectful of your neighbours

I might sound like a grandmother right now (no offence grandmas), but one thing that is actually pretty accurate from the movies is that your neighbours will snitch and call the police on you if it gets too rowdy. Inform them about the party beforehand and turn the music down by 12am.

13. Stick to the rules your parents set 

Whatever rules your parents may have set for you, rather just stick to them. You'll probably be allowed to host more parties in future if you prove yourself responsible.

* For parents reading this:

"It's lit" = It is quite the splendid occasion indeed.

What are some of your safe partying tips? Let us know by emailing us at chatback@Parent24.com and we could publish your comments. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.

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