When you get to college you will be exposed to a wide variety of new experiences. You’re exposed to new ideas or concepts in subjects that have never been offered to you before; new social situations will be revealed with different clubs that can range from any sport (including Quidditch in some schools), to the arts and politics; sororities and fraternities will recruit future prospects by enticing you with their social events that include a lot of alcohol and mingling with the opposite sex; and parties occur constantly that can have various themes and various substances. While college is about trying new things, creating memories, and having new experiences, you should still try to do so in a safe and healthy manner.
Even though I hate to admit it, sometimes I smoke cigarettes (Just kidding, those are lyrics to a Miranda Lambert song. But anyway…). Even though I hate to admit it, we live in a crazy world with people who do unkind things, and it seems to just be getting worse. I don’t mean to be depressing, but it’s the truth. A recent article discussed the increasing occurrence of sexually violent crimes on college campuses, and how the university authorities don’t properly report them or enforce the necessary punishments to those found guilty. Perhaps it’s all about appearances because if a school reports high incidences of sexual harassment, their reputation plummets, which would then cause them to lose money. But either way, the harsh reality of it all is that these things happen, and it’s important for students, and all people for that matter, to be cautious.
If you are out at one of the many college parties that occur, or if you’re simply staying on campus late to study for an exam, you should try to never walk home at night by yourself if you can help it, especially if you’re a girl. If you’re in this situation, ask a friend if they can come get you, ask campus security to escort you, or if these aren’t options and you must go by yourself, call someone and talk to them on the phone until you get back to your room/apartment.
Drugs & alcohol
Additionally, you’ll have a lot of access to drugs and alcohol. As college students, you’re on your own reaching adulthood and therefore making your own decisions and have to live with the consequences that may emerge. No one can make your choices for you, and you should never let anyone pressure you into doing something you don’t want to or are unsure of. College isn’t middle or high school, and even though it may be hard, you shouldn’t let peer pressure affect you. If something doesn’t feel right to you and you stand up for yourself and say ‘no,’ those who negatively judge you for it are people you don’t want to surround yourself with, anyway.
Get a DD
At bars/parties, if you know you’re going to be drinking, make sure you have a designated driver if need be, as well as other good friends around you to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of, or get hurt in any other way. My roommate my sophomore year had a lot too much one night and I, along with 3 of our friends, had to carry her home, help her into bed, and make sure she didn’t fall out or get sick because she blacked out and would not stay still. Situations like this naturally happen and it’s so important to be surrounded by people who care about you and will help keep you safe. Also, if everyone in your group of friends drinks, it’s important to vary the designated driver to keep it “fair.”
College is a time you’ll never forget and it’ll provide you with stories for the rest of your life. You’re supposed to have fun, but it should never be at the expense of your safety.