Why Tailgating Can Be Scary, And How To Stay Safe

Tailgating In College Can Be Scary, But These 5 Tips Will Help Anyone Stay Safe

Tailgating can be scary – and I learned that the hard way.


Fall marks the start of football season and tailgating parties. It's one of the fun aspects of college, but it can also be dangerous, especially when there are some fierce rivalries going on.

Tailgating can be scary — and I learned that the hard way.

What started out as a fun party wound up turning into a violent brawl after two people got into an altercation. Of course, there was drinking involved, and that's ultimately what escalated the matter. Before we knew it, everyone (except me) was getting in on the fight.

Drinking and sports can be a bad combination, which is why we now host sober tailgating parties.

Staying Safe During Tailgating Parties

Whether or not there's alcohol involved, it's important to understand how to stay safe when tailgating.

1. Keep tabs on your drinking

If you're 21 or older and plan on drinking during the party, keep tabs on how many drinks you have. Limit yourself to avoid going overboard. Try drinking an equal amount of water after each drink to slow down your pace and keep yourself hydrated.

If you need to drive home, avoid drinking entirely. It's not worth the risk of endangering yourself and others just for a drink.

Remember that you don't have to drink just to fit in with everyone else. Tailgating can still be fun without alcohol and you don't have to deal with a hangover the next morning.

2. Arrange for sober rides home

If you're adamant on drinking, make sure that you have a sober ride home. Never get behind the wheel if you've been drinking. And don't let your friends get behind the wheel either.

If you're the one hosting the party, make sure that you have safe options for your guests to arrive home.

3. Keep spirits light

Try to keep the party light and fun. If arguments are getting heated – whether over sports or something else – try to diffuse the situation before it escalates.

Keep the number of people to a minimum, and make sure there's adequate separation of supporters of each team. Altercations involving two or more people can easily escalate into brawls with dozens of people. That's when things can get ugly and dangerous.

Make sure that you have an escape route in mind, so if things do get out of hand, you can get out without becoming a victim in the process.

4. Don't forget about cooking safety

What would a tailgate party be without food? If you're grilling food, make sure that you bring a fire extinguisher and everything you need to cook food safely.

If you're bringing raw or uncooked meat, make sure that you pack it in a cooler with plenty of ice to prevent food poisoning. A friend of mine didn't follow this rule and he paid the price for it.

Being sick for two days with food poisoning is no walk in the park, especially if you have a class early the next morning.

5. Clean up before driving home

When the party's over, don't just hop in your car and drive away. Clean up. Make sure that you can see properly. Get rid of the cans, bottles and plates before you head back home.

Popular Right Now

To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.


To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.


A third-year nursing student who knows

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Why Fordham Should Have a Safe Space Policy

On a campus committed to it's student's safety, why is emotional safety left out?


Last year college Republicans were asked to leave Rodrigue's coffee house for provoking members by wearing pro-Trump attire within the shop. The reason they were asked to leave was because Rodrigue's upholds a "safe space" policy, which can be boiled down to the simple phrase: "No racism. No sexism. No homophobia." In the eyes of the members and patrons of Rod's, Trump embodied all of these things. Regardless of the politics of this specific incident, the phrase and policy seems redundant because this rhetoric can't possibly be allowed anywhere else on campus. Right?

As this incident made campus as well as national news Father McShane addressed the events in an e-mail to all students in which he made it clear he did not condone the approach of the College Republicans, as well as stated that Fordham has no official Safe Space policy and insinuated if it did this would silence voices on campus.

Let's examine what a safe space policy means and why it's important to so many members of the Fordham community. It simply means homophobic, sexist, and racist imagery and speech are not allowed. On a campus with racial minority, female, and queer students who chose to be members of the Fordham community as well as study here, live here, and pay obscene amounts of money to be a student, it does not make sense for these individuals to be subjected to abuses related to their identity. How can you focus in class when your professor misgenders you, a student makes a disparaging comment about your religion, or you fear for your physical safety due to the way you present yourself? Bigoted rhetoric is oppositional to academia.

Fordham is a private university, not a public one, and could easily legislate a basic safe space guideline on campus. I understand many of us that a safe space policy would protect do not experience outward aggression often, if at all, as the University does take steps to ensure our safety. So why no official policy? The answer is simple to me: money. Fordham receives hefty donations from conservative alumni whose own political ideology is contrary to the safe space policy. The choice to not outwardly support minority students is a decidedly economic and political one, despite Father McShane's plea for political peace on campus.

And what is wrong with silencing hateful voices? Tolerance is an incredibly important value, but should tolerance really extend to the intolerant? I found the logic behind not installing the policy as it would politically oppress individuals, incredibly interesting and telling. This means your politics are fatally bigoted and I would take a critical look at that. It's intrinsic to our perception of our school to remember that colleges are businesses and it is sometimes their prerogative to meet economic needs above the needs of their student body. However, this is hopeful. As patrons of this business, we can demand more of them and the most effective way to do this is economical. Invest money in places such as Rodrigue's to expand their voice, have your parents write letters to the school, tell at-risk individuals to not apply, and encourage alumni to earmark their money for minority student initiatives or withhold it unless the school legislates a safe space policy.

We as a student body should care for one another and above all respect the personhood of everyone on and off campus. Consider honoring the policy in your own lives and social circles, and demand Fordham to officially do the same.

Related Content

Facebook Comments