girls night out
There's a way to have fun nights in college while still ensuring your safety and well-being is prioritized. (Illustration by Jessica Shaklee | University of Georgia)
College /// Thoughts x
girls night out

Here’s how to stay safe when enjoying the nightlife of college.

A girls night out in college calls for nonstop laughter and memories that will last for a lifetime. Having the freedom to go out when you want is what makes college life so amazing. However, with freedom comes responsibility. As the summer winds down and incoming freshman are preparing to take on their first semester at a university, it is important that young college girls are cautious about the dangers of college nightlife. Here are six guidelines that every girl needs to know before heading to a university.

1. Do Not Rush to Make Friends

Attending college for the first time can be very exciting. It’s not wrong to want to find people to enjoy it with. Making friends in college makes homesickness more bearable and makes your school feel like a second home.

However, don’t think that having a large group of friends is the only way you can deal with being away from home. You don’t have to rush the process of creating the perfect clique. Such quick judgment can lead you to pick a group of people who might not have your best interest at heart.

It is important to become acclimated with the college environment before making any rash decisions. Universities often have several introductory meetings for different clubs and organizations where you can meet new people whom you will most likely have a lot in common.

Also, with the innumerable group projects that college professors assign, it is pretty difficult to be antisocial.

Whether you meet people in a class, at a party or in your dorm, there will always be someone willing to meet new people just as much as you. If there is one lonely freshman, there are 10 more in the next dorm in search of a good time. So just relax.

For now, focus on the ultimate reason for going to college, which is getting a degree. Let everything else flow naturally. Trust me, you won’t be alone for long.

2. Know How to Handle Drug Consumption

After making friends that you trust, it’s officially time for a girls night out. When there are few mature adults around to supervise, “college fun” often consists of alcohol or smoking. The results of these actions are illegal and are not condoned in this article at all, but drug consumption is common on nearly every college campus and it is imperative that freshman girls know how to stay safe in a risky environment.

Understandably, you want to embrace your freedom and have fun with your new friends, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot be responsible.

Always make sure to assign a responsible driver when going out. Many college students get into fatal car wrecks because of the driver’s high level of intoxication.

Also, try to steer clear of the students who have a hard time controlling their liquor. Intoxication is not only dangerous for the drinker but everyone else as well.

In the case that the designated driver has accidentally had too much to drink, it is best to give the position to another friend who is sober enough to keep everyone safe. It is important to stay careful and remain on the lookout for your friends’ behavior as well as your own.

However, if none of your friends are stable enough to drive, and you have also had one too many shots, then read this third rule.

3. Never Leave the Dorm without Money

A girls night out can be prone to turning into a disaster. If nobody is sober enough to drive safely, it is wise to keep your debit card handy in case you need to order a Lyft or an Uber.

If you plan on staying out late, make sure that you have money for gas that will allow you to arrive at your destination as well as get back to your dorm. An 18-year-old woman stranded on the side of the street with her thumb out is not a good look. And considering the stats of college women being the victims of sex trafficking, rape and assault, it is also very dangerous.

Lastly, late nights make for an empty stomach. The night will most likely end with a quick trip to any restaurant that is open after midnight before heading back to the dorm. Have enough cash for food. Thank me later.

4. Watch Your Cup

It is naïve to assume that everyone’s intentions are as pure as your own when drinking alcohol or using other drugs. Freshman girls are more vulnerable to rape than any other college demographic. A study shows that sexual assault usually occurs in a student’s first or second semester of college, i.e. college freshman.

Often sexual assault cases are due to the victim being drugged without knowing, usually by slipping a date rape drug into someone’s cup.

One in five women in college experience sexual assault. One study found that 15% of young women reported incapacitated rape during their first year of college.

Never assume that your cup is safe when it is out of your possession. It might be safe to drink (as safe as alcohol can be), but you don’t want to risk drinking unless you know exactly what is in the cup.

If you choose to drink, be sure to keep your cup in your possession. Hold the cup with your hand over the top. Another safe way is to hold the cup closely in front of you, making it hard for someone to get away with sneaking something into the drink.

The rule applies to any other drugs that you try on your girls night out. Do not consume anything if you are not sure what it is or who it came from.

5. Keep Your Phone Charged

Please, do not assume that 43% of your phone’s battery is going to last through the whole night. With the number of videos you are going to post and the number of pictures you are going to take, leaving your charger plugged into the dorm walls is a terrible mistake.

If you didn’t have enough time to charge your phone before leaving, keep a USB cord in your car that allows you to plug in your phone while driving.

In the case of an emergency, there needs to be someone who can call the police or just simply call on someone who can give you a safe ride back to your dorm room. It is important to make sure that your phone is charged without having to stress that it will die in a time of need.

6. Stay Together

This is the ultimate code of girls night out. If you arrive at a party with your friends, leave with them. There might be an attractive guy who might try to sweet talk his way into giving you a ride home; know that accepting the offer means getting into a car with a stranger.

If he is a true gentleman, he will be kind enough to respect your decision to decline the ride home. Also, if you are both interested in hanging out, you can set up a date for a later time to meet up — in a public place of course.

Sadly the day has not come when men and women can coexist without either gender being harassed or harmed. However, until that day comes, college girls should be cautious about how they are spending their time and who they are spending it with.

Just how the number one rule says to avoid rushing into a friendship, avoid rushing into relationships as well. Get to know a person before deciding to be alone with them. A person’s motives might not be identical to your intentions.

It’s better to save the drama by leaving with friends you came with — the ones you know and trust.

That’s all ladies! Hopefully, these tips will help you get through your first girls night out and several more to come.

The freedom of adulthood comes with a price. Think long and hard about what is best for you and never mind what someone else thinks.

In the end, you will always have your gut to tell you what is right or wrong. Be yourself and don’t feed into the peer pressure. Trying to fit in is a high schooler’s game anyway and those days are dead and gone.

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