So you’re in your dorm at Arizona State with your friends on a Saturday night, and you know you’re not planning on staying in and watching a movie. You’re planning on trying on your most revealing outfit, putting your drinks in the air, and getting on the dance floor. So you break out the pong table, invite some people over, and start playing beer pong. Meanwhile, your friends are making mixed drinks while tequila shots are being lined up on the table. One shot turns into two, two turns into three, and before you know it half the bottle is gone along with half your dignity.
While the room spins everyone’s grabbing their heels and getting ready to leave, filling up empty Vitamin Water bottles with the remains of their mixed drinks. Your friend’s brother’s cousin knows of some frat at some school an hour away, so might as well check it out right? While everyone’s piling into cabs, you’re simultaneously taking swigs from your bottle, hoping to loosen up before you get to the party. When you get there you realize there’s fifty people outside trying to get in, and by the time you squeeze your way passed the other party-goers into the house, all the alcohol is gone.
The atmosphere inside is a typical frat setting: blinding strobe lights, loud music, and of course, frat brothers. You’re feeling pretty good, looking pretty good, and it isn’t long until you’re dancing with a random guy, start hooking up, and inevitably get separated from your friends. Because of your high alcohol level combined with the romanticized feel from the lights and music, you end up going to his room and probably doing something you regret. The next morning you wake up confused, hungover, and you probably smell.
Now, this may seem like an exaggeration of a typical college party night, but trust me, it isn’t. I’ve seen this night happen countless times to countless people, and it’s easy to say that partying in college is not for the feint of heart. Some people can handle a night like this one pretty well, but for others it can be tragic, so I’m going to give you guys some tips on what you should do, and not do in this scenario.
1. Don’t feel like you need to drink and go out to have fun
If you’re tired and you’d rather stay in and watch a movie on the weekends, then do it. Don’t let people pressure you to drink if you don’t want to, because you won’t have fun. Drinking is just one part of having fun in college, and it’s definitely not necessary for enjoying your four years.
2. Take care of your friends
Make it a point to watch out for your friends. In college you don’t have your parents there to hold your hand, so your friends are definitely your safety net. Look for genuine friends who care about your welfare more than anything else, especially when you’re at a party somewhere unfamiliar. Don’t leave anywhere without your friends and be sure to check up on them if you happen to get separated.
3. Watch your drink and don’t room hop
This may sound cliché, but I had to put it in here: never, ever, ever leave your drink alone. If you happen to do this by mistake, then get a new drink. Never drink something that you haven’t had your eye on the entire night. Also, it’s probably not a good idea to go back to a guy’s room that you don’t know. Although this tends to happen frequently in the college setting, it’s really unsafe and probably not worth it.
4. Know your limits and don’t drink for the wrong reasons
Never drink simply because you want to “loosen up” or because you want to forget your school stresses or problems in general. Although drinking can be fun, it can also be detrimental if you do it to try to escape your problems. Also, know how much alcohol your body can handle. If you know that you get sick or act stupidly after more than a certain number of drinks, than be conscious of that.
5. Don’t be afraid of the authority at your school
If for some reason you end up drinking too much and get very sick, don’t be afraid to call health services at your school or the police. They’re there to help you. Binge drinking is a real thing, and it is better to be safe and call for help than to assume that you’re okay and end up hurting your body. Also, if you lose your friends and end up somewhere foreign to you, don’t be afraid to call your school to have campus security pick you up. Check out campus counseling services for more information on alcohol safety.
These are just some precautions, and don’t beat yourself up if you happen to drink too much one night or do something you’re not necessarily proud of. We all do it, it’s just important to learn from your mistakes and know that every new weekend is a clean slate.