The Sticky 16: Sweet Sixteen Party Situations

Sam is a 15-year-old from Montgomery, NJ. She enjoys playing tennis, writing and Community Service. Her favorite subject in school is History.

Ever have one of those nights where you go out to a Sweet 16 and it’s just disaster for the next four or five hours? You rip a dressapril77 teen rock party by JOACHIM LAPOTRE. that cost a month allowance or you feel like you’re being forced to hang out with people you would never hang out with outside of school? Well, here are some tips on how to handle even the toughest situations when you go out to your friend’s Sweet 16, birthday party, semiformal, or even a house party.

Awkward Mix of People

At the last Sweet 16 I went to, it seemed as if the guest of honor, my friend Jess, just chose people at random. There were very diverse cliques and kids of all ages crammed into a party room together. Though I had my friends with me, it was difficult to strike up conversation. When put in this situation, you too would probably feel less confident.

However, this is one of the easiest problems to solve. If you can find kids from your classes, don’t be shy to come up to them and break the ice. Yes, it can get very awkward, but be friendly. If you’re feeling more shy than usual, ask the guest of honor if he or she can introduce you to his or her friends. This way, you can meet new people and escape your comfort zone.

Snide Comments

So, at the same party, Jess made a grand entrance and slow danced with her dad before she called up people to light her candles. During the dance, I heard an acquaintance of mine mutter under her breath “That was my song!” Talk about being outspoken!  Here, you would probably feel embarrassed and confused. Do you tell the guest of honor or keep quiet?

This is where the “If you don’t have anything nice to say” rule applies greatly. Be nice and keep most comments for after the party. In contrast, however, do NOT be brutally honest with your host or hostess (i.e. don’t say that her dress is unflattering), as you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. If you hear your friend say something offensive, tell her directly “I know this may be difficult to hear, but you can’t say things like that now. It’s ________________’s day, don’t ruin it.” If this doesn’t keep your friend from watching her tongue, ask him or her this “Would you want people to say this on your birthday?” By saying these things, you can dodge possible drama.

Running into a Rival/Ex/Ex’s New Flame

This incident is one of the more common ones, as it can happen to everyone. You dance across the room with your best friends having the time of your life when out of the corner of your eye, you spot your ex getting a little too close with a new girl or your frenemy. You may feel upset and angry. After all, you did go out with him for a while.

It can be difficult, depending on your feelings for the guy or enmity for the girl, but NEVER EVER confront the couple in an angry manner! If you want to say something to your ex, come up to him casually and, again, be friendly. Also, unless you honestly did not expect your ex or your rival to be at the party, try not to say “I didn’t know you were here.” Most guys can see through it.

Wardrobe Malfunctions

From accidental flashes to rips to stains, wardrobe malfunctions can be infuriating, from constant checking or ripping a pricey dress. It can also be humiliating, as many people might’ve seen your dress fall down or get splattered in something.

The best way to handles these malfunctions are to be prepared before you leave. If you are wearing a strapless dress, or a dress with a very low cut in front or back, apply double-stick tape, a great tool if you know you’re going to dance a lot. As for rips, keep miniature safety pins in a small case in your purse. Finally, for stains, Tide-to-Go is the best stain remover out there, so if you can fit in it your purse, bring it in case of stains.


This is probably one of the touchiest issues at parties. While it hasn’t happened to me personally, many of my friends have complained about it. It can be incredibly confusing and tricky, especially with the legal and social repercussions of handling certain situations involving alcohol. But one of the more common issues is dealing with someone who is drunk, whether it is a total stranger or a friend.

If you spot a stranger or not-well-known acquaintance stealing a drink or appearing visibly drunk, tell you host immediately. Afterwards, let them handle the person accordingly.

If you spot your friend stealing a drink or appearing visibly drunk, you can use the same tactic as above. However, many kids find telling an adult hard to do for social repercussions. For an alternative, the first thing to do is to find your friend immediately and keep him or her with you at all times. Call your or your friend’s parents and let them know what is going on, how many drinks your friend had, etc., and ask for a ride home. If you or he/she drove to the party, keep all keys away from him/her. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry.

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