It’s finally Friday and the weekend is officially here. Whoo, party time! Not so fast, yet. Before you take off to a wild college party with your besties this weekend, think about your night and plan ahead for safety. We want you to have the time of your life even though you might not remember everything from one or multiple crazy nights, but you will want to remember these simple tips.
Here are 5 safe partying tips to keep in mind:
1. Always Have a Designated Driver
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I know you’ve probably heard this one so many times before, but when you are tipsy, you aren’t thinking clearly. It is a smart idea to have your designated driver on speed dial. Whether it is your friend, cousin or even use Uber or Lyft to make sure you don’t get behind the wheel of someone who is intoxicated. If you are a first time user for Uber or Lyft, they will offer you a special discount code for a free ride or there will be offers for special events. Also, Associated Students, Inc. Sacramento State offers Safe Rides, which will give you and your friends a ride home from the party or even a terrible date. It is a free program for Sacramento State students and all you need to do is text “SAFE RIDES” to 313131. Sounds simple, right? If you can’t get a ride home, ask the host to crash at their place for the night. Take the first step to plan ahead.
2. Use the Buddy System
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Of course you don’t want to show up to a party alone, right? It isn’t about just getting everyone together and looking picture perfect, but it is about safety too! There is always so much happening at a party and it’s easy to get distracted by everything. By having your friends there, you know someone has your back. Before the party, make sure to have a safe word or agree on a time and place to meet back in case everyone gets separated. Because you never know if you might feel uncomfortable or something feels wrong, you can just check in with each other. Always be aware of your surroundings in case another friend needs your help. It’s okay to have fun, but just check in with a simple text to make sure everyone is alright then you can laugh about the funny memories you made the next morning safely at home.
3. Pour Your Own Drink
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Always make sure you pour your own drink or bring your own and keep it by your side. Unfortunately, it isn’t safe to accept drink offers because someone might slip a date rape drug into your drink, which can cause unsafe sex without your consent or knowledge of remembering anything. This is illegal, and yet at parties, it happens way too often. When you become drunk, your judgment will be impaired and you might not be cautious to keep watch. Be sure to take care of yourself so you can help others who may need it the most. We want to make sure you are prepared and do your best to be in danger. Never put your drink down. As simple as this may seem, by keeping track of where and what is in your drink, it could end up saving your life.
4. Be Careful About Mixing Drinks
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Drinking can be so much fun to party and let loose, but irresponsible drinking can be deadly. If you don’t know your limit of how much you can drink, then don’t do it for the first time at a party because the consequences might be dangerous. Make sure you are aware of your Blood Alcohol Content, (BAC). Drink, have fun and do your thing, but keep in mind, at these parties there will be a wide variety of drinks for you to consume. If you chose the wrong alcohol combination, you might regret it in the morning. It is the safe choice to choose one type of drink and stick with it throughout the night, seriously. You can still party, but drink responsibly and be careful about those after effects the next morning.
5. Practice Safe Sex
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You should always be practicing safe sex to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and giving consent without being under the influence. The last thing you want at any party is to have unprotected sex and regret it a few moments a little too late. Right now, take some precaution steps to get yourself and your partner tested. Do your research to educate yourself on being sexually active, intimate with your partner and educational resources offered at Sacramento State. The Student Health and Counseling Services, located at The WELL, offers primary care and urgent care, which you can make an appointment for testing, birth control or gain access to free condoms, receive educational pamphlets, counseling and there is an on campus pharmacy where you can purchase over the counter medicine or an emergency after morning pill at cheaper costs for students. Be sure to keep a lookout for the Condom Cart from The Student Health and Counseling Services because no glove means no love.
It is always better to be safe than sorry. College life is amazing to be independent and go out on your own for the first time to experience all the fun you can have without having to meet your parents curfew. Sometimes, it can be costly when you are having too much fun because you might forget to protect yourself from obvious dangers. If you follow the above tips, you should be in good hands and if you have any red flags or sense of trouble, find someone you can trust to help you. Now, enough parental talk, grab your besties to get out there, have an awesome time and take those pics for the #SquadGoals Instagram page.