Planning to Party?! Party with a Plan!

By: Michelle Applegate

Almost everyone who has attended college has at least one wild story. Spending time away from your textbooks and out with your friends can be very beneficial to a student; however, it can also be very dangerous if it is not planned for accordingly. It is important to remember a few key tips when planning a night out on or around campus, especially if alcohol will be involved:

  1. Have a game plan! Know who you are meeting up with, where you are going, and how you are getting to your destination as well as getting back.
  2. Use a designated driver! If you or your friends are planning to drink, make sure you have a trustworthy designated driver (DD) before any of you ever touch a drink. It is important that everyone knows who their ride home is and that the person who has offered to drive is someone the group knows and trusts to not drink for that evening.
  3. Have a back-up ride! Sometimes even after choosing a DD for the evening, that friend may decide to have a drink or two. Alcohol severely impairs an individual’s ability to drive and no one should risk their life or the lives of others by allowing that person to drive. Having a back-up designated driver (this may be a parent, roommate, classmate, teammate, or even neighbor) that you feel you can come to in a bind is very important. It is better to spot that your DD is no longer capable of driving than to blindly trust their judgment after they have had a few drinks.
  4. Be aware! Pay attention to your surroundings. Parties often start small and secure but as the night continues, more and more students may arrive and the crowd can become too large and unsafe. The larger and wilder a party becomes, the more likely that things will get out of hand and dangerous. 
  5. Watch your drink! Do not set your drink down or let it out of your sight. Date rape drugs and other drugs that are easily slipped into a drink are no joke. Every year many college students are faced with this very concern. By paying attention to your drink this problem can be avoided.
  6. Use a buddy system! While you are watching your own drink, it is important to also keep an eye on your friends’. Two pairs of eyes (or even more!) are better than one at keeping you and your group safe. Monitoring how much your friends drink, who they are talking to, and where they are throughout the night are great ways to avoid trouble. A good rule of thumb is that the larger a party may become, the closer you and your friends should be. Leaving each other’s sides in a large party may separate you for the rest of the night, leaving you stranded without a ride or buddy system to watch your back, especially since it is nearly impossible to talk on the phone in a loud party atmosphere. 

These are just a few tips to keep you safe! So remember, when planning to party – party with a plan!



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