I know it seems crazy, but I love the beginning of the semester. The first week of classes is the best. It is virtually all syllabus reading, homework is minimal, and cramming for exams just a month ago seems like a distant memory. More importantly, the first weekend is the first time in what feels like forever that I get to go out with all of my best friends again. At last, I have access to seven of my favorite closets and an off-campus or Mod party is only a few texts and a walk across the tundra away. So, as we all get back to not only the grind of our school work, but the grind of going out on the weekends, I thought we could all use a quick refresher course on how be a safe and smart partier.
- Don’t forget to bring out the essentials — This includes your BC ID, some cash for a cab (just in case you stay out past two), and of course your cell phone. Bringing out your cell phone seems pretty obvious, since most of us are guilty of being super-glued to our phones at all times, but it’s also useful for emergencies. So take five minutes and program a few important numbers into your cell phone. All of these numbers can be found on the back of your student ID, but just in case you’ve been known to lose your ID from time to time (like me) — here they are: BC police (emergency): (617)-552-4444, BC police (non-emergency): (617)-552-4440, Sexual Assault Network: (617) 552-BC11, and the Safety Escort: (617)-552-8888.
- Be familiar with BC policies — Many BC students have not yet heard about the new immunity policy that was put in place this year. The basic gist of this policy is that if you or one of your friends is suffering from alcohol poisoning you may seek medical attention without having to worry about suffering disciplinary consequences. Under this policy, it makes the decision extra easy — if you or one of your friends begin to show signs of alcohol poisoning (i.e. throwing up, passing out, irregular breathing), there is no reason not to go to the infirmary. Props to BC for making this decision that encourages healthy and safe drinking! (If you want to learn more about this policy go here: http://www.bc.edu/publications/studentguide/behavioralpolicies.html#alcdabuse)
- Don’t talk to strangers — Okay, I’m kidding. But you should always try to go out in a group, not by yourself, and if you do meet a cute someone at a party and decide to leave with him/her, make sure you tell your friends where you’re going. Also, watch your drink. It seems like obvious advice, but don’t take a drink from someone that you don’t know. Boston College is a pretty safe campus, but that doesn’t mean that some very basic rules should go out the window. Date rape, which actually just means any rape in which the victim knew their assaulter, can be assisted by putting certain drugs (roofies) that are invisible and tasteless into a victim’s drink. It’s happening on college campuses across the country, and unfortunately BC is not immune to the trend. Luckily, it can be prevented by being careful about what you drink and who you take drinks from.
- Stay healthy! — I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but it is (quite literally) freezing cold outside. Winter is here, and it will be for quite some time. As much as we all wish that we could change this snowy Boston winter into some summer sunshine, we can’t. But that doesn’t mean that we should dress like it’s 80 degrees out when we’re going out! Wearing a coat may seem like it’s going to cramp your style, but nothing is worse then getting sick within the first couple weeks of a semester. Dress warmly – you won’t regret it!
See, it only takes a brief reminder to see that being safe when you go out is not a burden at all, but actually totally simple! Now we can all get back to enjoying the weekends before our homework load gets too unbearable!