Just when your parents thought it was safe for you to venture to the mall or the multiplex without an adult, you pop the question: Can I go to a teen club on Friday night? A teen club? The mere thought of it sends most parents into a tailspin! Why, you ask? What's the big deal anyway? Well, going to a teen club is a big deal. You are out in a public place with hundreds of other teens from all over your area. Since most teen clubs have a pretty varied age requirement —from 14 to 18 year-olds and up, you are also hanging around in an environment with much older teens. And like it or not, older teens often take advantage of younger, more inexperienced teens. But all you want to do is dance, right? Although you're not looking for trouble, trouble may find you. If you think you can handle the crowd, why not learn this safety advice for teenagers. Let your parents know you are aware of the "rules," and maybe, next time they will let you go. Maybe! Travel in a Large Group. You've heard this before, but it is advice for teenagers that never goes out of style. There is safety in numbers. If you are planning a night at a teen club, go with lots of friends. Then initiate the buddy system. Everyone should have a partner she is responsible for. This way, if you are out on the dance floor with a guy who gets a little "touchy," your partner can come to your rescue. Invite some guys along. Even if you are going to meet new guys, ask some of your old favorite guy friends along for, well, protection. Not that you should expect trouble around every corner, but other kids are less likely to mess with a group of guys and girls. Don't leave your drink, your food or your purse unattended at any time. It may be an overreaction, but it is better to be safe than sorry. There are hundreds of stories about strangers who slipped drugs or alcohol into girls drinks at parties and clubs. Hopefully, the stories aren't true, but it doesn't hurt to be cautious. Don't leave the club with a stranger. We define a stranger as anyone you met that night! Even if you are having a great time talking to a new cute guy, stay in the club! Ask for adult assistance. If you find you are in an uncomfortable situation, find the club manager, waiter or waitress, anyone adult. Don't feel embarrassed. An adult will quickly handle any problem you may have. Dress appropriately. If you are dressed for trouble (with too much skin showing), then trouble will find you. There is a way to look cool and attractive without giving the impression that you're looking for sex. You must take responsibility for your image, particularly in a teen club. Don't give out your cell phone number or your email address. If you think you met a nice boy, give him your home phone number. A boy with bad intentions is less likely to call your house and talk to your mom. Carry a cell phone with you (or money to make a phone call in an emergency). Let your mom and dad (or another adult) know where you are and how you are getting there. Don't walk or take rides from strangers. Check out the reputation of the club you are going to. Some clubs have better reputations than others. Does your club tend to attract an older, rowdier crowd? Maybe this isn't the right mix for you. Teen clubbing should be reserved for girls who can handle themselves in large crowds. If you are at all apprehensive about going to a teen club, then don't go! There are plenty of other exciting ways to spend your teen time!
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