Many people look back on their college years with fondness. It’s true that college will likely comprise some of the best years of your life, but that doesn’t erase the fact it also holds some big risks. The college party scene can be both exciting and dangerous, and you’ll need to know the basics of navigating it wisely and safely. Here are six tips for staying safe and avoiding problems at your first college parties.
Never Leave Drinks Unattended
This might seem rather obvious, but it’s still incredibly important. Many sexual predators still rely on date rape drugs that dissolve in beverages in order to find victims. Keep your drink in your hand at all times, and if you need to temporarily part ways with it, let a trusted friend hold or guard it. If you plan on drinking, keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum.
Be Wary of Social Media
You’ll want to behave as though your actions are continually on display for the world to see. With the evolution of social media and technology, it takes merely seconds for a photo or video to be snapped and uploaded to the internet. From there, it can be viewed by practically anyone. Employers are becoming more reliant on social media and the internet to gauge the trustworthiness of their potential job hires so it’s important to stay alert, and always be cautious about what you say or do at parties.
Always Travel in a Trusted Group
If you’re planning on hitting the town on a Friday night, be sure to do so only with people you know and trust. Even if you’re anticipating a date or a one-on-one encounter with someone you’ve never met, ensure a close friend will be nearby and available to help in the event that the engagement turns sour.
Keep Mace Spray on Hand
It might seem a bit overkill, but traveling with a concealed container of mace could prove to be useful in some worst case scenarios. If you are stuck in a dangerous situation, mace spray is great for getting a quick escape. Most attacks happen to people who are traveling alone, so preparation is key.
Avoid Alcohol/Drug Abuse
Often times, alcohol and drug abuse can lead to bad (or even catastrophic) situations. If you know you have a problem with addiction, it is best to complete treatment at a rehabilitation center before beginning college. University party scenes tend to be riddled with bars, parties, and drugs. Knowing how to mitigate temptation will make for a smooth ride through college.
Keep a close eye on friends and roommates as well. If you suspect they might be in danger of hurting themselves through drug or alcohol abuse, seek help. School counselors can help you set up a drug intervention and give them the push needed to get healthy again. What is an intervention? It’s more than simply gathering friends and family. You need to have people who have been directly affected by the addiction to help persuade those affected they might need to seek help.
Opt for a Taxi/Cab Service
If you want to leave a party and don’t have transportation back to your dorm or apartment, call a cab or taxi service. Accepting rides from strangers isn’t ill-fated in most cases, but there are still the few rare instances where it could be a huge mistake. It’s best if you can get in the habit of securing transportation to and from your destinations before you ever actually depart for them. It’s also a good idea to have the number of one on hand in case your designated driver flakes out on you.
College is a great time for experimentation and fun, but don’t let the party scene take over your life. Education always comes first. Just make sure when you do go out, you’re prepared to stay safe.