5 Ways to Look Out for Your Friends: Party Edition

We all love a good night out with our friends to de-stress and let loose after a busy week. What we don’t love is the stress that comes with keeping the group together, making sure our friends don’t drink too much and keeping strangers at bay. Here are a few tips for how to keep you and your friends safe while having a good time.

1. Start Off the Night Right

Make sure you have all of your friends’ phone numbers or Snapchat handles before you leave. You want to be able to reach your friends throughout the night if you become separated. You also may want to go over a simple plan for the night. Talk about which clubs or parties you want to go to and make sure your group is on the same page.

2. Know Your Location

It’s essential to know the address of the party you’re going to if you are unfamiliar with the area. If you’re heading to a house party, be sure to share the address with your group so they know how to get there if they have to take a separate Uber. Let someone else know where you will be going for the night, may that be a roommate or a close friend staying in and studying. Sharing the address with a different friend can relieve some stress.

3. Drinks

It’s important to know your limit when it comes to drinking, so don’t be afraid to cut your friends off when they reach theirs. If they aren’t acting like themselves and begin to make decisions they wouldn't even dream about sober, it might be time to swap their rum and coke for a cup of water. Another way to watch out for your friends is to make their drinks for them. Don’t let a stranger pour their drinks because a) they may not know what they’re doing and b) they don’t know ratios. This is probably more relevant at a house party than a bar but by pouring their drink for them, you have control of their alcohol intake and the situation.

So you made it to the party, have the address, made the drinks and now your friends are ready to have some fun. However, it’s still important to look out for them. Advise them to cover the opening of their cup with the palm of their hand to prevent anyone from slipping any substance into their drink. Once they put their drink down, it’s done. Don’t let your friends pick their cup back up after they have left it somewhere. Someone could have easily slipped something into their cup when their back was turned.

4. Stranger Danger: It’s REAL

It may be fun to meet new people out at a party or a bar, but keep in mind that not everyone has innocent intentions. It’s important to protect your friends from strangers. Before you go out, make up a codeword! If someone is feeling uncomfortable, they can easily drop the word to alert you and your group that they need help. Even if you don’t have a code word, don’t be afraid to act if your friend looks like she needs help. As her friend, you have the ability to step in and “take her to the bathroom” to remove her from the uncomfortable scenario.

You also have the ability to stop her from making a decision that she will regret. Don’t let her go home with someone she is not familiar and has never met before. Not everyone who goes out to a bar or club in a college town is a student. An easy way to watch out for your friends is simply by making sure they get home safe, not taken to a rando’s apartment.

5. Get Them Home Safely

Don’t create an opportunity for something bad to happen. Help your friends get home safely. If you are a true friend, their safety should be your number one priority. Don’t let them walk home alone; their safety is worth a $5 Uber. You can even offer to walk them yourself or, better yet, rally the group to leave the party together. You can also Uber home with friends who live in your area, just make sure the other half of your group has a reliable way to get home.

Your friends are more than people to party with, they are your collegiate family. Treat them like the gems they are. Make sure they’re safe and make it to their own bed at the end of the night. Our friends support us through the craziness that is college life, they deserve the same for a night out.