Spring Break, whether it’s a stereotype or not, is infamous in college for binge drinking, exotic or beach locales, parties, and good times. To the collegiettes lucky enough to be heading to an exciting location, here are some tips on staying safe.
The buddy system: Never go somewhere alone and make sure to stay in a group. Don’t let your friend leave a party alone, even if she wants to, the risks may not be worth it. If taking public transportation, such as riding a bus or taking a taxi, be sure you’re not traveling alone. Based on statistics, on average, men and women on spring break who drink consume at least 10 alcoholic beverages a day, which leaves no one in the right state of mind to travel alone. If your friend wishes to engage in a sexual encounter, make sure she A) gives full consent and B) is in the right state of mind to give that consent, just as you hope she would do for you.
Safe drinking: Don’t accept drinks from strangers or consume open drinks. If getting a drink, open it yourself or watch the bartender make it in front of you. Know the symptoms of ingesting a drug, such as if you feel fuzzy or confused after drinking a minimal amount. Losing large chunks of memory or feeling as if you’re spacing out for a long period of time are additional signs. GHB is a common date rape drug that is colorless and odorless, and it takes only roughly 15 minutes to begin to take effect. If you believe you have been drugged, it is important to get medical help right away.
In the hotel: Don’t give strangers your hotel room number and be discreet when checking into a hotel, you don’t know who is possibly listening for your room number. Put valuables, such as passports and wallets, in the hotel room safe. Make sure your hotel room door is locked, not only at night, but also whenever you are in the room. You may want to consider keeping a business card of the hotel on you in a safe place, in case you forget the location.
Use common sense: Don’t swim in the ocean alone or at night. If you are in need of assistance, call 911 or the local equivalent yourself, if possible, because the bystander effect could limit your chances of getting help via others. Keep your ID on you and also have a backup source of identification and always inform others of your travel plans. Do not carry large quantities of cash or valuables on you and if using an ATM, check to see who is around you to ensure no one is lurking or watching.
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