Ding-dong! The gang's already outside, waiting for you to get in the car. Armed with a hot outfit and a promise to be home in time for curfew, you're on your way to party. You think, "Nothing can go wrong on a night like this!" Think again.
"I only had four bottles of San Mig Light, but I was already drunk. My friends told me I tried to take my top off and kept flirting with a guy I had just met," says 17-year-old Nina*.
Then there's Bianca*, 14, whose drunk friend made out with a guy three years older than her. "I've also seen people passing out, getting into fights, and hurting others when they're drunk," she shares. Bianca is only a high school freshman, but she regularly attends open drinking parties at village clubhouses organized by different schools. "When I'm drunk, I turn red, get really hyper, talk, and laugh a lot. I also have a tendency to get really cranky."
When there's a will...
High school is a time for parties, proms, and grad balls—a legit excuse for teens to go out. Seventeen-year-old Claire* says, "I think some teens, especially those with strict parents, take advantage of school-organized parties because they don't know if they'll be able to experience that outside school."
When it comes to attending outside parties though, it's amazing how creative teens can get. A simple white lie was Claire's trick to get her parents to allow her to go out. "I tell them that I'll just be having dinner with friends. And, if I get home late, I'll adjust the clocks so I won't get into trouble. Most of the time, my parents are too sleepy to notice!"
Nina, on the other hand, says that once she finds out that her parents are still up waiting for her, she puts herself together and tries to look "decent." "I'll spray on perfume and eat candy to mask the smell of alcohol."
Boys will be Boys
Both Bianca and Nina admit they look forward to meeting guys at parties, but most of the time, booze and boys aren't exactly a good combination. Not all guys take advantage of girls, but if they've had too much to drink, girls better steer clear. Claire learned her lesson after her encounter at The Fort. "A friend of one of my guy buds asked me to dance. At first it was okay, but then he started dancing so close to me. I felt uncomfortable so I moved away, but he kept following me. I think he was too tipsy to notice that I didn't want to dance with him anymore. Or he was just a real jerk."
Scandal in the Making
Parties are perfect breeding grounds for nasty rumors. Claire, unfortunately, was a victim. "There was a rumor about me that erupted in school a day after one big party. Someone at the party who didn't like me made something up, so I confronted her about it." Juicy stories will inevitably reach everyone, and even if there's no validation, people still talk about it.
Elle*, 15, shares that her classmates usually post party pictures online because they think it's cool to show everyone that they can do wild things. "But in reality, it's not cool to lose control of yourself," she says.
Ina* started partying when she was 13 years old, and has pretty much experienced all there is to booze, drugs, and boys. Now 20, she imparts something that she thinks is crucial for teens to know. "For kids these days, regret always comes later in life. At a certain time and age, you think you're right, but you're not. The result? Regret many years after."
Ina's advice isn't new to Nina, who has learned her lesson after several drinking bouts. "I just wish I didn't try to take my top off. Now I have that wild reputation. People expect me to do that when I'm at a party," she says. "I also shouldn't have let that guy kiss me, kahit na smack lang. We even had a picture in my cam, and when I saw it the morning after, nandiri ako sa sarili ko. I deleted it right away."
Claire reveals, "I have friends who made out with random guys while they were drunk. They say they're okay with it, but I wouldn't want it to happen to them again. I think kisses are very special. They're very intimate. You should only share them with a guy you really care about."
These teens have all seen the negative effects of partying, be it from their friends or from their personal experiences. And they've learned that things don't have to be this way. "Alcoholic beverages make it a little more interesting because by taking them, people tend to loosen up. I don't believe alcohol is necessary, though. With my circle of friends, all we really need is each other's company, good food, and nice music," says Claire.
Elle, on the other hand, stresses the importance of control. "If possible, avoid excessive partying. While we're still in our teens, we should listen to our parents. We may be afraid to admit it, but our parents really do know better."
The best thing about being young is experiencing all that life has to offer. That's why it's perfectly all right to enjoy a night out with your friends—and reminisce years from now, recalling how you lived your teen years to the fullest. You wouldn't want to be that girl who looks back and says, "I was too drunk; I don't remember."
*Names have been changed.