6 Ways To Stay Safe On A Night Out

6 Ways To Stay Safe On A Night Out

Who says you can't have fun and be safe at the same time?

In light of all the busy events that have recently gone by, there was a lot of celebrating, parties, bar hopping... you name it. What else do you do when you're in college for Halloween, homecoming, game day, etc...? Personally, I spent a few nights staying in getting caught up on homework (it was marvelous, tbh). But with all the fun parts of life happening all around us, I think it is important to remember safety tips to make sure we can all go out, have a good time and make it home by the end of the night in one piece (physically and emotionally).

1. Strength in numbers.

When we go out, our parents always told us about this, "There is strength in numbers." Did I ever believe it? No, I never had much reason to. Growing up in a small town, you tend to trust those around you and their intentions, but even in personal settings, you can never be too careful. You know those weird, bad vibes you start to feel when you're alone at the bar while your friends ran to dance, go to the restroom, etc., and a person across the bar starts staring, but not in a good way -- an uncomfortable way. Those feelings disappear when your friends return, right? Right. This is because this statement holds true; when there is more than one of you out, the less likely you are to find yourself in a bad situation. The more, the merrier!

2. Never leave your drink.

I cannot stress this one enough, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DRINK UNATTENDED!!! While you're not holding your drink, it is at risk of being: A) drugged or B) stolen or spilled. While people always say, "Don't cry over spilled milk.", I think it's OK to cry over a little spilled alcohol - -that stuff isn't cheap. But being drugged is definitely way worse than spilling. You have got to be careful, date rape is real and isn't only found in the movies.

3. Walk in well-lit areas.

Who thinks, "Wow! Walking in this dark ally is such a great idea!"? Literally no one. It's safest to walk in well-lit areas because you are able to see what is around you better and, if anything does happen, others are more likely to see it as well.

4. Invest in pepper spray.

You never know when you might need it! It just might save your life. It can easily be carried on a key chain or in a purse or wristlet.

5. Walk with your keys in hand.

Be ready to get into your car once you get there and lock the doors as soon as you get in. Before push to start cars, and most people still had actual keys to start their vehicle, you could hold them as if they were a weapon to protect yourself against attack. But the quicker you can get to your car and lock yourself in, the less amount of time there is that something could happen.

6. Know where the exits are.

When you walk into a place, look for red exit signs and different ways to get in and out of the location you're at. In case of an emergency, you're going to want to get out as quick as possible.

Stay safe out there!

Whether you're out alone or out with friends, always be aware of your surroundings and keep these easy tips in mind so you can have fun and be safe at the same time!

Cover Image Credit: Trinity Kubassek

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.

When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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There Are Few Phrases More Dangerous Than “What If”

There are few things worse than to get lost in what could have been.

Anna Ree
Anna Ree

You ever play the "what if" game?

Take going out for lunch for example. You ever stand in line at McDonald's and stare intently at their menu? You ever decide on a double quarter pounder meal and then instantly think about how much better your life might be if you grabbed a handful of their nuggets instead? Now you're up at the counter staring a cashier dead in the eyes unable to form the sentences necessary to get any food? Almost at the point of asking the cashier for recommendations - at McDonald's - you step out of line and let a hoard of customers pass while you go back to staring at the menu because, for the moment, no decision is a better decision?

You are exactly right. It is a stupid game.

Now imagine playing that game every day of your life. With every decision, you have ever made. Think back to the times that you, whether of your own volition or otherwise, played this game in your head knowing it would only hurt you? Yes, we are all generally aware of the fact that the "what if" game is a terrible thing to play, so why is it that it is so addicting?

This game and I have an ongoing love-hate relationship, meaning it loves me and rarely have I hated anything more. The "ongoing" is the kicker in that sentence. No matter how hard I may try, I find myself fiercely unable to avoid running over every detail of every decision in my head over and over again until I can't even remember the options anymore.

The worst part and the reason that sparked this article is that I tend to do this with decisions that are a long, long way in the past. They aren't upcoming - they have been decided and moved right along out of my life, and while they have been over me for endless eternities, I keep crawling back for more painful indecision over a decision that has already been made! Every time I hear a new bit of information, every time I realize something that might have been, every time I lay all my cards out on the table and examine each one until my eyes burn, I bury my future a little deeper under piles of garbage from the past. I think the technical term for it is personal history hoarder, but I'm still working out the kinks.

As someone who does this on an endlessly regular basis, I have only one message for anyone who takes the time to read this. Please don't. Just don't. Don't do what I'm doing, don't waste time and hours on this stupid, stupid game.

I'm not saying "Don't do this" flippantly, the way I'd tell myself regarding stealing my siblings' leftovers out of the fridge. Odds are I'll do that anyway, and the same applies for this. I am saying "Don't do this" as in "Make a conscious decision not to do this." Make a genuine, concerted effort to push these thoughts from your mind. Figure out what distractions work best. Don't think about what a decision could do for you - make the decision you believe is right. If you're wrong, learn from the mistake; don't lean into it.

Decisions, like most of the other parts of this world, are not black and white. They are this grand, sweeping spectrum of every color imaginable. Nowhere on the decision, you are about to make is a concrete list of what happens next. There's no guide, no recipe, no instructions, no spoilers. There is you, and there is a choice to be made.

Do what you can with what you've been given. Make the most of what you have chosen. Don't sweat the small stuff. Or the large stuff, honestly. Go with what your life is, and stop trying to turn it into something it might be.

Believe in your own decisions. And once they're made, don't look back.

Anna Ree
Anna Ree

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