How to Stay Safe at College Parties: Part 2

In part one of this article on how to stay safe at college parties, we discussed staying safe (sexually and otherwise), staying hydrated, and planning your nights out in advance. While you should never feel pressured to drink in college, if you do choose to do so, the tips below can help you stay safe:

Travel together, and trust your friends.

Traveling together greatly reduces risks to you and your friends. Muggers, rapists, and other aggressors all tend to target people who are by themselves rather than part of a large group, so you can protect yourself by traveling with others. Partying with a group means you’ll have someone to look after you throughout the evening because even if they’re drinking themselves, it’s always safer to have some sort of babysitter.

It is also important that you trust your friends. If your group is telling you that they think you’ve had too much to drink, listen to them. They’re trying to help you, not be a buzzkill, and if you irritate them too much by acting like a drunken idiot and refusing to take their advice, they could very well leave you to fend for yourself.

Don’t give in to peer pressure.

That being said, it’s important that you also trust yourself. Only you can determine how much is safe and acceptable for you to drink, so do not allow your friends to pressure you into drinking too much. If you’re uncomfortable having drinking competitions, don’t participate in them. There’s absolutely no shame in admitting that you’ve had enough to drink, and drinking too much only opens up the door to a host of problems, some of them deadly.

There are plenty of polite ways to get your overeager friends off your back like saying, for example, “No, thanks, I feel great already!” Or tell them, “I would, but I don’t want to end up sick tonight.” Everyone can relate to not wanting to spend the rest of the evening vomiting into someone else’s toilet, so hopefully, this will lift the pressure.

Stay vigilant.

Despite the fact that you’re drinking, you’ll need to try your best to stay vigilant for certain threats. If you’re underage, one of these threats is the police. Remember, though, that many times if the cops show up to a house party on or near a college campus, they are not there to arrest anyone in the house. Often, the police will simply give the homeowners a warning asking them to turn down the music, and then the party can continue at a quieter volume.

If the cops are parked outside of a party you’re attending and you’re under 21, one of the absolute worst things you can do is to try to run away and make it home. In many cases, the police are simply outside making sure that none of the drunk partiers try to drive themselves home, and if you bolt out the back door, you’re only inviting the police to come investigate your strange behavior.

If the presence of police makes you uncomfortable enough that you feel you have to leave, at least wait around and try to sober up first. That way, if you’re stopped on your way home, you have some hope of retaining your composure.

Finally, if you’re walking home from a party, do not do anything stupid. Many students believe that once they leave the party, they’re in the clear, but this is a huge mistake. In fact, one of the most common ways underage drinkers are arrested is for acting foolishly on their way home from a party that they didn’t realize was being watched by the police or by a neighbor. Vandalism, noise violations, and public urination/ indecent exposure are three of the most common examples.

If you’re going to drink at college parties, don’t make the same mistakes that thousands of other students have made before you. Stay smart by traveling in a group and listening to your body when it tells you to stop drinking.

Be sure to have fun, but watch your drink- and your back.

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