Updated: Nov 3
Top Tips on a Safe Social Life from a Hospitality Student
One of the best things about the social life at university is the variety of activities you can enjoy. You can join clubs and societies, play team sports, go to pub quizzes, and party with your friends.
However, you also need to be aware of the risks of drinking and socializing and how to protect yourself. FromHighSchooltoUni asked a hospitality student who has been through it all and knows how to have a fun to give us some of his safety tips for a safe social life at university.
I'm Bertie, and currently enjoying my 2nd year of a BSc in Hospitality Management at a top hospitality business school in Switzerland. You can imagine how much drinking and socialising goes on in the hospitality industry!
I'd like to give you some great tips on how to stay safe and enjoy the best nights out.
A Good Social Life at University can be a Great Benefit for your Mental Health
It is important to have a social life as a university student. It gives you something to look forward to if you're feeling overwhelmed by your studies. It allows you to take a break from the books, relax and unwind, and is crucial for your mental health and wellbeing.
However, it's important to remember that socializing comes with its own set of risks, especially when it comes to drinking. As much fun as it is to let your hair down and enjoy a few drinks with friends, it's equally important to stay safe and avoid any potential dangers. The last thing you want is to end up in hospital with alcohol poisoning or having your drink spiked. It happens more often than you might realise!
In this blog, I'll give you some tips on how to stay safe and still have fun on a night out. These tips apply to all gender and all ages, whether you're a fresher or a senior.
Travel Light When You Go Out
Try not to take a bag or purse with you when you go out. It's easy to forget and leave them behind, and they can be a nuisance to carry around all night. Just bring your mobile phone, some coins for the cloakroom and a debit or credit card to pay for drinks and food.
Check your coat in at the cloakroom if there is one, and don't leave it lying around in the nightclub. It will probably get stolen, which will be an issue if you kept your house-keys in the pocket!
Also, get one of these credit card holders to stick on the back of your phone and keep your cards and ID in there. Just don't keep your phone in your back pocket where it can be seen or pickpocketed.
Know Your Limits
Drinking can be a fun way to relax and socialize, but alcohol can also impair your judgment and make you vulnerable to accidents or unwanted situations. That’s why it’s important to know your limits and stick to them.
Here are some ways to do that:
Set a budget for how much you want to spend on drinks and don’t go over it.
Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks to stay hydrated and reduce your alcohol intake.
Avoid drinking games or peer pressure that make you drink more than you want to.
Know the signs of alcohol poisoning and seek help if you or someone else shows them.
Be careful of drinks that could be spiked with drugs or other substances that could harm you or make you lose control. If you suddenly feel unwell (dizzy, sick, faint), and you suspect your drink may have been tampered with, don’t drink anymore and IMMEDIATELY tell a friend or go to the bar and tell the barman or a bouncer.
Do NOT leave the place with someone you don’t know or a new 'friend' who says they will look after you.
Safety In Numbers - Stay Together!
It is important that you stay with your group of friends. This way you can keep an eye on each other and make sure everyone is safe. Don’t leave anyone behind or let them go off with strangers.
If your group of friends likes to have a drink or three, try taking it in turns to have one person be the 'minder' for the night to keep everyone in order. There's usually always a 'sensible' one - just don't make it their turn every time.
Here are some ways to stay safe as a group:
Plan ahead where you want to go and how you will get there and back.
Share your location with your friends using your phone or an app.
Agree on a meeting point in case you get separated or lost.
Check in with your friends regularly. If you do get separated from your group, make sure you text the group chat and check in to let them know you're OK.
My sister used to go clubbing with a group of friends when she was at university in the UK. One of her friends would sometimes get drunk on nights out and disappear with another group of students without warning, or answering her phone. So my sister tracked her down by asking the DJ if she could use the mike and make an announcement - as if her friend was a lost child in a department store! It usually worked!
Plan Your Journey Home
Discuss the plan for getting home with your friends BEFORE you go out. Get a sober friend to give you a lift (and contribute towards the fuel costs in return), call a car service or take public transport. Just make sure you know the last tram/bus/train home before you leave, so you know your deadlines. When you are out and about, be aware of your surroundings and avoid any potential dangers or trouble.
Never get into a car with someone who has been drinking - even if they 'look' ok or say they feel sober. It's just not worth the risk. Get an Uber or a Taxi and get home safely.
Use Technology To Stay Connected With Your Friends
Use the Find My Friends app on your mobile phone to see where your friends are, if you're separated and to make sure everyone is safe. My friends also use the Life360 app to create groups and families. Of course, there is always Snapmaps.
Make sure you all check in when you get home if you're separated from the initial group. It's good for your peace of mind and to keep an eye on each other.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Drink plenty of water before you go to bed, and hopefully you will have done at least once or twice during the evening. Drink at least one or two glasses as soon as you get up in the morning. This will help you feel better and get back to your normal routine more quickly.
If anything, drinking so much water will make you go to the toilet first thing in the morning, which will help you get up and about earlier and combat that hangover!
Having a social life as a university student is important for your mental health and wellbeing, but it also comes with some challenges and risks. You need to be aware of the dangers of drinking too much, leaving your belongings unattended, or going home with strangers. By following these tips from a hospitality student who has been there and done that, you can have fun and make friends without compromising your safety or your studies.
We hope these tips have been helpful and wish you a great many nights out to hopefully remember for all the right reasons! For more great advice on navigating university life, check out the other FromHighSchooltoUni blogs and follow us on Instagram for inspiration and more tips.
Don't forget to order our book "From High School to Uni" for your step-by-step guide to navigating university life.
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