The years spent at college are supposed to be about learning, pursuing a higher education and, to be perfectly honest, having a good time. For many, college is the first extended period spent away from the watchful eyes of parents, close friends, and family. It is a chance to create a new identity, meet new people, and try new things. While there is nothing wrong with having a good time in college there are a few things that every young college student should remember.
When going to a party, club, or late night event always plan to have at least one good friend or roommate with you, especially if you are in a strange town. It isn't hard to get lost late at night when every street looks familiar and wandering around until the wee hours of the morning isn't anyone's idea of a good time. Also when alcohol is flowing freely there is always someone looking to pick a fight and a confused looking freshman wandering around alone might seem like an easy target.
If you are consuming alcohol keep track of how much you have had to drink. There are times when two beers can turn to twenty in the blink of an eye. When one has had too much to drink judgement becomes affected and there is an increased chance that they will engage in risky behavior like fighting, unprotected sex, and anything else you can imagine.
A night out with friends doesn't have to end with a visit to the local police station.
While you are drinking whether, it is soda or alcohol, keep an eye on your drink. Avoid excepting open cups or bottles from others, especially strangers. Sometimes other partygoers, usually upper classmen, amuse themselves by slipping things into the drinks of the unwary. Some might place something into a drink just to watch the reaction of the person consuming it and others might place something into a drink in order to take advantage of that person.
Even though it is easy to plan to go to a party, hang out with friends, and go home sober the best-laid plans often go awry. If you find yourself intoxicated in spite of all your planning avoid driving by taking a taxi or asking a friend for a ride home. In cases where you are within walking distance of your dorm or apartment avoid walking home alone. Wait for a friend or an acquaintance and walk home with them. It is not unusual for someone to pass out while walking home and it is best to have someone with you in case you start having trouble.
Once you get home watch out for an excessive amount of vomiting and cold clammy skin since these are signs of alcohol poisoning. If you witness a friend lose consciousness and notice their breathing has become shallow have them seek medical attention or call 911. Alcohol poisoning is serious and can lead to brain damage and/or death; there is a big difference in sleeping off the effects of to much drinking and passing out completely.
College doesn't have to be all about books and studying, it can also be about having a good time. Just remember having a good time doesn't mean putting yourself at risk. Just using a little good judgment and common sense can keep your good time from becoming a dangerous experience.