"Don't Blow It Unless It's Actually Happening": How to Party Smart in College

While we all may wish that our lives mirrored the aca-mazing movie phenomenon that is Pitch Perfect, life isn't always as easy or safe as it is on the big screen. You remember the opening scene of Pitch Perfect when that super helpful, super annoying girl approaches Becca and hands her, of all welcome gifts, a rape whistle?

Now, we all laughed as Becca took the whistle from happy girl's hand and put it between her teeth, but what we missed was the hidden message behind this scene. Of course it was humorous, but it also served a purpose. College is a scary place, especially if you your university has a large campus. There's the stress of moving in, the hope that your roommate will like you and the nightmare that ensues when she doesn't, and then there's the jungle that are college parties.

If you're into them, parties can be a great way to meet new people, have fun with friends and let off a little steam from your stressful week of homework and exams. They can also be very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Sexual violence in college campuses is running rampant. Sexual violence related to alcohol or drug intoxication is even more of an issue. As a college student, especially a young, inexperienced one, it's very easy to go to a party and get lost in the atmosphere. While you're dancing with your friends and having a grand ol' time, someone could likely keep refilling your cup every time it gets half-empty, or worse, slip something into your drink. This simple mistake of not partying smart can potentially cost you a lot, and it's very important to ensure that you know the steps to take in order to prevent something like this from happening to you or a fellow student. 

1. Be Responsible

When going out, make sure that you assign at least one reliable person in your group to make sure that everyone gets home safely. Chances are, you have a friend or two that doesn't drink anyway, so they will be more than happy to drive you home. Being responsible also means keeping track of your drink. Never set your drink down and walk away from it, for this leaves the opportunity wide open for someone to put something dangerous in it. If you do leave your drink unattended, just go get a new one. It's always better to be safe than sorry!

Yes, please. 

2. Know Your Surroundings

Be familiar with the area you're in. You're much more likely to get to a safe location if you know the area or neighborhood you're in. If you call a friend to come pick you up, you need to be able to tell them where you are. Some campuses also have locations with emergency phones that come in handy if yours is dead or lost. You can find a list of KU's Emergency Blue Phones here

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3. Know Your Limits

Let's be real, partying is a huge part of the college experience. It's the norm to go out with your friends and have a few drinks on the weekends. Just make sure you know how much is enough for you. Alcohol poisoning is a very serious illness and needs to be treated at a hospital. Know how much Jungle Juice you can have before you're ready to pass out on the sticky, alcohol soaked floor. And if drinking's not your thing, don't feel like you have to do it! You will likely be able to find a group of people to hang out with who can have a good time without a drink in their hand. 

4. Protect Yourself

A great way to feel comfortable that you're safe is to learn how to protect yourself. This could be as easy as carrying pepper spray with you, or as in depth as taking a self defense class. Not only is it practical, but if you take a few friends along with you, it can be so much fun! Not to mention a pregame workout for all of the calories you'll be consuming during the weekend. 

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No matter how you choose to release the stress of your school week, always make sure to take the proper safety precautions to ensure that your night stays fun by guaranteeing that everyone is safe!