Heading off to college is an exciting time of self-discovery and growing independence, and there’s a load of fun to be had in the process. College parties are the stuff of legends, and there’s very little doubt that you’ll be attending some around and off-campus.
Here is your guide to navigating your first party at college and staying safe at the same time.
Take a Friend
It’s a good idea to go to the party in a group, or at least with a friend. Around one-fourth of college women will be the victim of a rape or attempted rape in college, and protecting yourself should be a major priority. According to Campus Safety Magazine, 43 percent of sexual assault victims are under the influence of alcohol when an incident occurs, and 69 percent of perpetrators have been drinking before the incident. Make a pact with your friend to keep an eye on each other, and promise to leave the party together.
Take it Easy on the Booze
According to an Orlando DUI attorney, binge drinking occurs when you consume enough alcohol over the course of two hours to raise your blood alcohol content to .08 percent. Binge drinking is associated with an increase of risk-taking, such as walking by yourself in a questionable area, or having unprotected sex. If you’re going to drink, keep it to one beverage per hour, and drink plenty of water throughout the night.
Keep Your S.A. Up
S.A. stands for Situational Awareness, and that simply means to stay aware of what’s going on around you. Things can quickly go wrong at a college party, and paying attention to your surroundings is essential for safety. If you’re a woman, one particularly important aspect of S.A. is keeping your drink safe from being spiked with GBH, the "date rape" drug. If you set your drink down and walk away, don’t pick it back up. If someone offers you a drink that you didn’t see them pour, politely decline. If you start to feel weird and woozy, find your friend.
Be Prepared for a Bust
College parties get busted all the time. The cops will usually break up the party, but not before checking IDs and arresting underage drinkers and those using or in possession of drugs. If the party gets busted, the last thing you want to do is flee the scene, unless you want to get in double trouble if you get caught. If the cops come, be respectful. You have the right to remain silent, offering only your name and address and declining to answer any other questions.
Stay safe and stay smart as you navigate your first college parties. These tips can help you stay safe and can help your friends as well.