Welcome To College!
Going to college for the first time can be nerve-racking. When you have to step out into the real world, making new friends, trying new things, and figuring out your course curriculum will make your head spin. Transitioning from home life to college life is never easy but will feel very rewarding. Though you can never be too prepared for college, there are some things I think are very important to address during the college experience. Let’s not be blind to the fact that with college comes college parties. This is the highlight of the freshman year, and where memories are made. Let’s make sure all of those memories are good. It is very important to know how to prepare yourself for college parties. Having prior knowledge and preparation can save you time, and even someone’s life. Here are 10 safety tips for your first college party. This list is solely directed toward first-year college students regardless of age. For my young adults 21 and over, this guide is for you too.
Always Be Prepared
Okay, you’ve found your group of friends and they are all prepared for a night out. You’re excited and have your outfit prepared ahead of time. Here are a few more things to add to your checklist.
1. Fill Up on Food Before You Leave
This is a very helpful rule of thumb for many reasons. During a night of fun, you can encounter so much. Eating before leaving can save you time. For starters, the infamous run to buy gas station chick en just isn’t it? Fill up on a healthy portion that will help give you energy for the night. In addition, if you are 21 and over and plan to drink it is imperative to coat your stomach with carbs so that you are not drinking on an empty stomach. This can be incredibly painful and will cause you to be intoxicated sooner than you’d desire. This can also lead to you becoming ill down the road. This will end your night before it can even get started and that is not fun at all.
In addition to eating a well-portioned meal, it is critical to keep yourself hydrated before, during, and after a party. This is one common mistake people do substituting water for sugary drinks. Sugary drinks lead to dehydration and that’s the last thing you want to be while partying the night away. If it is possible, carry a disposable water bottle with you to hydrate on the way there. If you are drinking that night, drinking one glass (or bottle) of water between every or every other will help flush out your beverage and keep you hydrated. Unfortunately, that does mean breaking the seal, and that’s okay when it comes to your health.
3. Do Not Go Alone
When you’re experiencing a college party for the first time going alone can be a scary thing to experience. Being unaware of your surroundings will leave you vulnerable. Especially if you decide to grab a drink. When you are stepping into an unfamiliar space with faces you do not know having a friend beside you can make it all the better. I don’t want to scare you but the reality of being drugged while at a party is not far from reality, and you want to make sure you have someone with you to increase your chances of safety. This leads to my next point.
4. Know How You’re Getting To The Party and How You’re Getting Home
This is the one I wish I had done in college. As a group, we always knew how we were getting to the party but going home was another. Now granted, when the night is young you’ve probably given a plan but things change and you want to make sure you and your friends are making wise decisions. If your friends plan to drink, designate a driver. In college, this was me most of the time. I did not like to drink and for many of my college experiences the youngest in the group could not drink. The safety of you and your friends is important and designating a driver at the end of the night to withstand alcohol to drive the group home can save lives. If you would like to join in, Uber and Lyft can be great options for transportation. Plan to leave with the same group of people you came with. No one is left behind.
5. Always Bring A Portable Charger
First, do not leave your house without a charged phone. This is a common mistake most people make thinking that their phone will survive all of the Instagram stories, and videos from creating unforgettable memories. With all of the fun, what happens in case there is an emergency and your phone is dead? Chaos is what happens, and you do not want to be that person. Bringing a portable charger with you saves a lot of time and energy when you know you have a phone as a resource. Keeping your phone above 50% will give you enough battery to make important calls and Uber home, or call Mom and Dad if needed. There is nothing more terrifying than trying to find your way home and your phone dies. This is more common than you think.
6. Keep Your Eyes On Your Drink
Again. If you are 21 years and over and plan to drink, please drink responsibly and never keep your eyes off your drink. Keep it in your hand and if you have to step away from it ask a friend to keep hold of it. This will eliminate the chances of being drugged or someone giving you something you simply did not ask for. When drugs are placed in your drink, they may not be as visible as you think, and some are completely undetectable. We want you to be able to have a good time and make it home safely.
7. Listen To Your Intuition
Do you know how you’re in a weird situation where your inner self is telling you something is not right but you can’t tell why? Listen to that gut feeling. Parties are so much fun until they aren’t. A lot of times some may feel peer pressured into trying things that they wouldn’t particularly like to do. Do not fall under the peer pressure of others. It sounds easier said than done but if you know that something is not right and your gut is telling you to leave, leave immediately.
8. Leave Early
I know you’re having a good time and still have a horror more until the party ends. However, it’s wise to leave before everyone else. The amount of crowds that linger a while or leave in large groups can cause confusion. Especially when your friends get lost in the commotion. Let’s be realistic here and say that maybe the friends you came with aren’t the friends you thought they were. Prepare an exit strategy and leave immediately.
9. Do Not Leave With Someone You Don’t Trust
Sometimes the person you come with may not be the person you’d like to leave with. Things happen and finding the right friends is part of college. If you find out mid-way that you can no longer trust anyone you’re with, head back to your dorm immediately. If you meet anyone at the party and you do not feel comfortable with them, seek out someone who you trust or have someone on call that can come to your rescue.
10. Share Your Location
The idea of having someone keep track of your whereabouts may seem strange at first, but I believe this is a tool that is very often overlooked, despite its importance. Find someone who you can trust and/or who is a mentor figure with whom you can share your location and make sure they can help you. In all honesty, I don’t want to alarm you, nor be negative, but the reality of the matter is that the world is a crazy place. In an emergency situation, having someone who knows your location could be the difference between life and death.