When you are at college, you will probably go out once in your four years. No matter what the occasion is, it is best to stay safe and watch what you drink. If you are or are not drinking alcohol, these tips still apply.
Here are some ways to stay safe at college parties:
1. Stay in a group.
When you are going out, always stay in a group. This will ensure that you or your friends will have someone looking out for your best interests. It will also be harder for someone to talk you into doing something that you normally wouldn't be comfortable with sober.
2. Make sure your phone is charged.
When you are getting ready for the night, make sure to charge your phone. You may think you can survive the night on 49 percent battery life, but you probably can't. There have been countless nights when my phone has died when I wanted to take a picture or text a friend back. Make sure it is charged in case of an emergency!
3. Guard your drink.
Never put your drink down. If you ever take your eyes off of your drink, it's best to get a new one. You never know what could have been slipped in your drink. You may think that being "roofied" would never happen to you or at your school for that matter, but you are wrong. I thought the same thing until I found out two people had been drugged at a frat Halloween party. Always keep an eye on your drink.
4. Behave in your dorm room.
It may seem fun and easy to have a few people over in your dorm room or throw a party, but make sure you are cautious. Be aware of what time the CA/RAs go on rounds, and always be cautious of noise levels. Always check who is knocking at your door before you answer it. If you do get caught having alcohol in your dorm room, don't freak out. It happens more than you think.
5. Don't post pictures you may regret.
If you have to ask someone if you should post a picture, don't post it. Always be aware of what is in a picture and if you would want your family, friends, college or future employers to see it. Yes, it may be funny to post a video of your friends taking shots on Snapchat, but make sure it won't come back to bite you in the butt.
6. Choose a designated driver.
If you know you may be driving somewhere, find yourself a designated driver. It can save you the cost of a cab or Uber at midnight and could also save a life. Never get in a car with someone who has been drinking, no matter how normal they seem. If you can save the life of yourself, your friends and the other people on the road, you won't regret having a designated driver or taking a cab.
7. It's OK to say no.
When you are at a party, it is OK to say no. if someone offers you a drink, you don't have to say yes. If someone asks you to go back to their room, you don't have to say yes. If you or your friends notice someone who doesn't want to do something, help them out.
8. Know your limits.
When you first get to college, you may want to party a lot or match the amount of alcohol your peers are drinking — but it is not safe. If you have never drank before, then watch the amount of alcohol you drink, and have a good friend to tell you when to stop.
On numerous occasions I have seen people get "wasted" their first time drinking and make fools of themselves. I have also seen people who drink just to blackout. Not being able to remember your night isn't fun, it's scary. Know when to stop.
9. Find friends you can trust.
Always go out with friends you can trust to take care of you or tell you when to stop. Make sure your friends know your boundaries for the night and to not leave you at a party. The worst thing is when your friends leave you at a party or in a dorm room. Always communicate with your friends on if they want to stay or should stay at a place or party.
10. Don't walk by yourself after dark.
You may think it is safe to walk around your college campus at night, but it's not. Always be aware of your surroundings, such as where the emergency boxes are, who is walking around you, cars, etc. Always try to take someone with you if you know you will be walking outside after dark. If you are unable to, get on the phone with a friend until you are safely at your destination.
11. If you do get split up, stay in contact with your friends.
At some point in your night out, you will lose sight of your friends. Don't panic. If you can't find them by asking around, get on your phone and text or call them. My go-to is to put all of my friends that are out that night into a group text. Just text the group text or call one of your friends. If all else fails, you can call security to take you back to your dorm.
12. Eat before you drink.
Always eat a full meal before you drink. This slows down the rate at which you get drunk and will make sure you don't feel sick. I have come across many girls who drank on an empty stomach and didn't realize how fast the alcohol would hit them. This is super dangerous because you may think you can drink the same amount as a person who ate a full meal and get really sick or even black out. Eat before you drink.
13. Drink plenty of water.
It is true what they say about water; it can eliminate a hangover. Try to alternate between a alcohol and water if possible. If you can't, drink an entire bottle or glass of water before you go to bed. This is most likely eliminate the headache you would normally get when hungover.
14. Don't take alcohol from strangers.
Don't take candy or alcohol from strangers. If you are going to drink someone else's alcohol, make sure you actually know the person past being acquaintances. Even then, keep an eye out for suspicious behavior or signs of being drugged. It's best to bring your own alcohol to be cautious.
15. Avoid alcohol given out at parties.
Again, don't take alcohol from people you don't know. Many parties will have a bowl of jungle juice or a mixture of many types of alcohol. Be very careful of this. This is an easy way to be drugged, and the mixture of various types of alcohol can make you sick.
16. Don't forget your ID.
Always make sure you have your ID with you at all times. You may want to leave a party early, and if you don't have your ID, it will be very hard to get back into your building. Many times I have had to sleep in another dorm because I didn't bring my ID out with me. Don't make this mistake!
17. If you are concerned about a friend, call a CA/RA or 911.
If your friend is throwing up profusely or is passed out, it might be best to call a CA/RA. If you call them, they will be more concerned about the safety of you and your friends than the fact that you have been drinking. If your friend is unconscious and isn't responsive, call 911 right away. Alcohol poisoning is not a joke and is very serious.
With this being said, don't forget to have fun! College is one of the best times of your life and you want to make the most of it. Also, make sure to document your night. You will be able to look back at these pictures and remember the good times you had with your friends. It is always fun to look at your pictures and videos the morning after. Just stay safe!