Staying safe while having fun during freshers’ week can be challenging, especially when you’re a woman.
Staying safe while having fun during freshers’ week can be challenging, especially when you’re a woman. Here are my 7 top tips for staying safe:
Don’t get too drunk
I know this can be hard when you’re with new friends and you want to enjoy uni life, but you don’t need to be absolutely smashed to have fun. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t drink but just be careful that you don’t drink so much that you don’t know where you are! Also, make sure that you know where your friends are if it’s time to go home.
Before you leave for the club, have at least two taxi company numbers in your phone
This is really important if, for example, you do get separated from your friends and you need some way of getting home. When I first went to university that was one of the first things that I did before I went out. Having a taxi number will be really helpful during freshers’ week when you’re more likely to mix with other people and might need a ride home.
Of course not everybody likes clubbing, but as our own Kayley Gilbert has pointed out, it’s still well worth doing during freshers’ week as it is a good way to make new friends. So follow this tip to make sure you can get back home afterwards!
Try to stay with at least one other person when out
I know this isn’t always possible, but it will be safer for both you and your friend if you’re with someone. Having at least one other person with you automatically makes you safer and you also won’t feel so anxious about being out. In addition, make sure that you have your housemates’ phone numbers and vice-versa.
Don’t leave your drink on the table. It can easily be spiked, which is something nobody wants
Be very careful with your drinks. If you need to leave it, either ask your friend to hold it or just get a new one. Normally, if I need to go to the bathroom and I haven’t finished my drink, I either take it with me or I leave it on the table and get a new drink when I come back. It’s not worth having your drink messed with just to save money.
If you plan on getting lucky, always carry a condom!
I don’t recommend that you go out just for the sake of getting lucky, but if it does happen, then make sure that you are safe. You don’t want this to come back to haunt you. You can get condoms from many health centres for free so there is no excuse for not carrying a condom.
A guy won’t always come prepared, so make sure that you are. And if you’re into ladies, remember that although the risk is lower it is still possible to catch STIs. A condom can easily be turned into a dental dam by cutting off the tip, so take one with you no matter who you like to sleep with!
For the men: keep an eye out for your lady friends
They will really appreciate this and it helps to have someone else out there to help keep them safe. You can help keep away unwanted advances from the men around them (including you! Recognise when a girl isn’t interested and don’t be a pushy jerk).
Remember that it’s not your fault
In the unlikely event that something horrible does happen to you, like getting drugged and/or sexually assaulted, then even if you didn’t follow these tips it is NOT your fault; you are not to blame for other people’s bad behaviour!
Also remember that there is help and support out there if you need it. Talk to trusted friends or family about what you’ve been through, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing that then you can call the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre freephone helpline; the telephone number is 0808 802 9999 and they’re open every day from 12-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm.
Remember, have fun during fresher’s week as it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience but stay safe!
What do you think? What advice would you add? Have your say in the comments section below.