7 Tips to Staying Safe at College Parties

September 1, 2013 Updated: September 5, 2013

1. Stay in a Trustworthy Group at Parties

Going in groups is safe for a number of reasons. It can prevent a young woman being targeted for unwanted pursuit. Others will notice if one group member goes missing, or has too much to drink. 

Go to parties with positive people that have your best interests in mind. Choose companions who will make sure to keep an eye out, and not let anyone wander off with people no one knows, especially if there appears to be drinking or drugs involved. 

This creates a safety net.    

2. Guard Beverages

At social gatherings, keep track of drinks. Rohypnol, also known as a roofie, is a small odorless and tasteless white pill that dissolves quickly in drinks. 

Rohypnol is illegal. It is commonly known as the “date rape” drug. It is a sedative. Effects last 2 to 24 hours. It causes symptoms including sleepiness, relaxation, intoxication, dizziness, disorientation, and difficulty with motor functions and speech. 

Don’t risk it. Keep your drink in hand. Get a new one if you lose sight of yours.

3. Have a Plan and a Backup Plan

Prior to going out with friends discuss who will be the designated driver for the night, and make sure that person is someone who can resist any social pressure to drink.

Every year, thousands of people die from drinking and driving, about 30 people each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Please, don’t do it, or allow anyone else to. 

Know where you’re going, and how to get back home. Deciding on a time when you want to either regroup and leave, or discuss staying longer, is also a good way to check in with everyone.

Know where emergency resources are on campus, such as blue phones, as well as the campus security number. Have local cab companies programmed into your phone. If a designated driver has been drinking, even one drink, call a cab or a friend you know isn’t going to be at the party, to get a safe ride home.

4. Have Mace

Mace is derived from chili plants, and temporarily causes blindness, trouble breathing, and upper body spasms. There are several places to purchase mace at relatively little cost, including on Amazon.

If you are in trouble and threatened by someone, then Mace can provide as a means to escape. 

Keep Mace in your purse, backpack, or even on your keychain. It is better to have it and never use it, than need it and not have it. Many are attacked while walking alone, so have Mace in hand when you are alone at night.

5. Drink Lightly or Not at All

Binge drinking for women, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is four or more drinks at a single occasion. Heavy drinking is at least one drink per day. 

Long-term, or major episodes of drinking can have severe physical consequences, such as liver damage, neurological problems, and depression. It can cause social problems like unemployment, and isolation. 

If you see a friend consuming alcohol very often, or binge drinking, consult school counselors for resources to help. Effective support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon are easy to find.

6. Don’t Do Anything You Don’t Want on the Web

With the constant evolution of technology, any picture taken can be on several social media sites, and seen by thousands in a matter of minutes. 

There is no way to remove this photo from cyberspace, and many have gone on to regret pictures, or videos that were taken of them without their consent. 

Additionally, employers are beginning to consistently Web search potential employees. You’re in college to eventually get a job. Don’t let one night ruin what you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

7. Stay Healthy

Get plenty of sleep, and maintain a healthy and balanced diet. The CDC recommends a minimum of two and a half hours of physical activity per week. 

Peer pressure in college gets intense. Don’t stop following hobbies and other interests to help maintain a strong sense of self.

According to the Nation Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism four out of five college students drink alcohol, with about 25 percent reporting academic consequences. Additionally, alcohol is a depressant, and can cause several health problems if consumed irresponsibly. 

Campus staff, professors, friends, and family are all there to help you. Whether it’s for you, or for others, don’t be afraid to speak up.