Whether you’re a drinker or not, chances are, you’ll probably end up at more than a few college parties during your time as a student. Alcohol consumption- whether underage or legal- is wildly popular on college campuses across the country, and many students say that college parties are an integral part of the social experience. If you do decide to drink, follow the tips below for staying safe at college parties:
Plan your nights out.
If you’re going to drink, it’s important that you try to plan your nights out beforehand. For example, although it might seem silly, try to get your homework done before you head out for the night. It makes much more sense to take care of your academic responsibilities before you go to a party than to try to push through a day of homework hungover the morning after.
Planning your nights out also means you’re more likely to be able to arrange a ride home if you need one, which lessens the possibility for you driving home drunk from the party out of desperation when none of your friends are available to pick you up at the last minute.
Finally, if you plan your nights out a little bit in advance, you’ll have a better idea of where you’re going. Almost every college student has experienced the frustration of trying to locate the address of a house party after an evening of “pre-gaming,” only to return to campus an hour later, tired of walking around searching for a house that was harder to find than they thought it would be.
You’ve probably heard it before, but it bears repeating: Drink plenty of water throughout the night. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it slowly dehydrates you throughout the night, which can contribute to nausea, dizziness, and a terrible hangover the next morning. Try bringing a water bottle with you to the party to ensure that your water’s always on hand and to avoid having to use one of the host’s questionably clean cups. (College students aren’t exactly known for their cleanliness, after all.)
Part of staying safe involves making sure you’re “protected.” If you’re sexually active, you need to recognize the fact that alcohol lowers your inhibitions. Your feelings on casual sex could change quite quickly after you start to drink, so rather than entering into a situation with an attitude of “It will never happen,” take steps to be prepared for anything.
This is not to say that drunken hookups are an inevitability (Alcohol is a poor excuse for bad decisions.), but they do happen. It’s far better to be safe than to make a potentially life-ruining mistake for one night of fun with a stranger.
Also, be sure to hold onto your drink throughout the night. College parties are a prime spot for date rapists and other offenders, so it’s best to stay safe. No one ever thinks that something so terrible could happen to them, but remember, it does happen.
If you do choose to drink at college parties, do your best to stay in control. Your night- or even your life- could be ruined by any number of things, and while it’s important that you still try to have a good time, it’s equally important that you stay smart. For more tips on staying safe at college parties (and avoiding the police), see Part 2 of this article.