You’ve just started university; you’re an adult, you’re independent, you’re responsible… But are you safe? Here are some tips (many I have developed over the years, others given to me by parents and teachers) to keep you safe on a night out:

  1. Have a plan for the night – you don’t want to be wandering around at 3am unsure of exactly what club half your friends are in. Even if drunk you decides that you want to stay in a club despite everyone else sticking to the plan on leaving at a certain time you need to go with them. It’s your responsibility to stay sober enough to stick to the plan in order to keep yourself save.
  2. Ask for help – Have all of your friends’ phone numbers and call them if you get separated or need help getting away from someone. You can also ask security guards and bar staff if you or a friend gets into trouble. It’s probably best not to talk to people you don’t actually know if you are in trouble, it’s unlikely that a random drunk stranger is really that interested in helping you out.
  3. Watch your drink – This one has been drummed into every girl, and hopefully the guys too, since we started drinking. That doesn’t mean that everyone remembers it, look after your drink and your friends’ drinks; ‘all for one and one for all!’
  4. Don’t drink too much – No, you really can’t drink everyone in the club under the table. These are the best nights of your life and you’re going to want to have stories to tell about your days at university. Not being able to remember the night before will get old pretty soon, not to mention it means you’ve drunk too much and are putting yourself at risk. Also, think of all that money you’re spending on something ‘so great’ you don’t even know what happened.
  5. Don’t abandon the group of people you came out with – these might be people you know from back home or your new flatmates, it doesn’t matter; at the end of the night these are the people who are going to carry you back to your own bed.
  6. Go home – One night stands are fine and fun, but if you can barely walk and some guy/girl is trying to get you to go home with them is this really the sort of person you want to be alone with? If you’re too drunk to talk/walk/act human then just go home.
  7. Or don’t – If you decide that you are going to leave the club and head home with a new ‘friend’ then be smart; tell your friends where you are going and who you are with – I’d suggest getting a taxi with the ‘friend’ and texting a real friend the address they give to the driver (better safe than sorry). Tell them your friends you’ll text them before you go to sleep (actually do this, if you don’t they’ll think something has happened) and use a form of protection (do you really want to ask your new flatmates where the sexual health clinic is in your first week together?). Although, I would seriously suggesting bringing the ‘friend’ back to yours after reading this post by The Cambridge Diaries.
  8. Don’t get into a fight – Just because your friend is having an argument with someone who you’ve never seen before doesn’t mean you need to leap to their defence. Try to defuse the situation and get your friend out of harm’s way, but DO NOT get involved in a fight; it could result in assault charges.
  9. Stay calm – If you do get attacked then stay calm: You need to appear confident and ‘buy your time’. If you’re sure you can fight your way out of a situation then do, but if you’re unsure then don’t as it will only waste energy and could result in you getting injured. Of course, there are some simple ways of avoiding trouble: point 1, 4 and 10 are a start, but also avoid doing silly things like walking along clutching the newest iphone – alerting thieves to the exact location of something valuable increases your risk of getting a victim of crime.
  10. Know how you’re getting home – Standing on a street corner trying to flag down a taxi in the small hours of the morning isn’t fun. Book a taxi before you go out, have a designated driver, plan a walking route (public areas that are well lit). It’s always best to have a plan for the end of the night, even if it’s just to stop everyone falling out at the end of night when no one is in the mood to make decisions.

I’d also like to point out that dancing on tables is very hard to do drunk and even if you have read this post I can’t be held responsible if you do end up falling off – no matter what the title says.