A night on the town is an integral part of university life. If you’re a first year, you may be tempted to dive into nightlife headfirst, but it’s always worth having a plan to protect yourself and your friends. Here are some tips to keep the good times rolling while ensuring you stay safe on a night out.
Stick with a group
It’s always safest to go out with a group of people you trust. If you’re new to university, you may not know very many people yet, but flatmates are a good bet. Outside of planned society events, groups of between two and six are ideal. In groups of over seven, it can be difficult to make sure everyone is accounted for. Keep tabs on the people you’re with and check in on them regularly.
Watch your drinks
Because of the risk of spiking, it’s always best to watch your drink be made or opened, and to not let it out of your sight. Signs of spiking include slurred speech, confusion, and loss of balance. This can include feeling more intoxicated than is proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed. Always be cautious and, if your drink is left unattended at any point, toss it out and buy a new one to be safe.
Watch your belongings
It’s easy to lose track of phones or wallets on a night out, so bring only what you need and keep these items on your person or ask a member of your group to watch them. Alternatively, some clubs have a bag check service where you can leave your items in a safe location.
Know where help is available
Some establishments have an “Ask for Angela” system, where you can say a code word to bar staff if someone is making you uncomfortable. Staff will then assist you by helping you find a friend, calling security, or calling a taxi as the case may require. There may also be designated safe spaces in your area, so it’s worth noting where they are.
Share your location
It’s easy to share your location through Snapchat or Google Maps. Sharing your location with a friend is a great way to be able to find one another in case you get separated through the course of the night.
If everyone in your group is able to walk home, choose well-lit main roads for your path. Otherwise, rideshares or taxis are often the safest and easiest way to get home safely.
If you follow these simple rules, it should help you stay safe on a night out. Then, it’s time to chug some water and get some rest!
See also: How To Host The Best House Party