New Year’s Eve: a time of forgetting the past year’s mistakes and thinking of the new that you can create. Yeah, you might have done some pretty nasty things last year, like breaking your mom's favorite vase, but this year you have resolutions. Resolutions to be a good person. Resolutions that probably will only last until the middle of February but hey-- it’s the thought that counts, right?
The last year's mistakes can lead all the way up to 11:59 pm on December 31. They are silly mistakes that can easily be forgotten. The mistakes I’m talking about, the ones that can be life-altering, are the ones when you get into a car where the driver is drunk and you “trust” them, or your friends peer pressure you into drinking that drink that supposedly “doesn’t have a lot of alcohol in it, you’ll be fine.” These choices can lead to poor outcomes and a mess that you won’t be able to clean up by mid-February.
I’m here to talk to you about what you can do if you are in a bad situation and you don’t know how to get out of it. Many people stay in bad situations because they want to seem cool and they don’t want to disappoint their friends. If you feel uncomfortable wherever you are, you shouldn’t be afraid of calling your parents or an older sibling to go and pick you up. I would think that many parents would much rather pick you up at a party than go to visit you in a hospital bed. Don’t automatically think “Oh my gosh, no I can’t call my dad/mom; they’ll kill me if they knew I was here!” because in the long run they will think better of you for being a mature teenager and getting out of a situation that makes you uncomfortable the smart way.
A couple years ago at our very own high school the SADD club (Students Against Destructive Decisions) had a hotline you could call if you were in a situation you felt uncomfortable in or someone was too impaired to drive. A student over the age of 18, so they could legally drive past 11, would be assigned for a weekend and if someone needed to be picked up they could call the number and be right over. I think that this should be installed again so if a student does not feel safe, they have someone to call who isn’t their parent if they feel uncomfortable calling them.
As you get older your parents will always tell you to be a little more careful than normal because they were once your age too and know the poor decisions a lot of people like to make. So when you’re about to get into a car with people who were just drinking, evaluate. Would you rather go home safe and hear your mom nag one more time, or be laying in a hospital bed with your leg broken? Be safe this New Years, and I hope you stick to your resolutions because I know I won’t.