5 ways to stay safe when you’re drinking

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Besides getting your degree, discovering your independence is one of the best parts of university. But sometimes, your independence takes you to places you’d rather not be... like waking up and remembering (or not remembering) you were a hot mess the night before. Hey, it happens to the best of us! Drinking is a big part of the uni experience for many students, but that experience shouldn’t have to turn into a negative one. For Alcohol Awareness Week, we’re sharing a few steps you can take to look after yourself while enjoying (safe) drinking at university.

1. Keep your friends close and your drinks closer

Clubs and bars want to make their space as safe as possible, but unfortunately, there are still dangers that go undetected. The main thing students can do is to stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings. It sounds obvious, but make sure you don’t take a drink from a stranger or put your own drink down somewhere. If you see a fight breaking out, then steer clear of the situation.

2. Carb it up

Yup, lining your stomach with a plateful of healthy, carby food is a big help before a big night. We know, your mum has probably told you all this before while spoon-feeding you lasagne, but guess what? She’s right, because a) lining your stomach can prevent a brutal hangover the next day and b) it can prevent the night getting seriously messy before you’ve even left the flat. No one likes being called a lightweight, so make sure you’ve eaten well before things get boozy and you’ll be sure to enjoy your night for way longer, without any embarrassment.

3. Plan ahead

‘Your Uber has been cancelled’ are never the words you want to read at 3.15am on a street corner when everyone’s leaving the heaving clubs at the same time. So, one of the best things to do before a night out is to book a taxi in advance for your journey home. Decide on a time with your friends and you’re much less likely to end up stranded in town – it’s quicker, easier and safer for everyone!

4. Drink within your limits

So, the excitement of being a fresher and living away from home is enough to get any student revved up for a night out, but knowing your own personal limits (tip: they're much, much lower than a fountain of Prosecco) is key to enjoying yourself. At university, you’ll probably mingle with people of different ages and backgrounds. For instance, some freshers may be 21 years old and have more years of drinking experience than you. So, instead of trying to keep up with others, understand how much is enough for you to prevent any unwanted dramas or hangovers.

5. Stick together

Especially if you and your friends recently joined the breakdancing society and have some new moves to bust. Even though it can be difficult to keep track of all your friends whilst you’re out, trying to stay in groups of at least three is always a good idea. It’s too easy to get lost in big clubs, but by staying together, or at least keeping track of your friends in a WhatsApp group, you can enjoy a stress-free night out.

Do you have any tips for safe drinking? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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