Heading out downtown to de-stress after a week full of tests, assignments, and group projects can be enjoyable – but can end up being a hot mess of a night. Instead, wake up the next morning laughing about all the shenanigans your friends and you got up to the night before.
These are all things I have learnt throughout my time in university. I am NOT saying that drinking is the ONLY way to de-stress and something you HAVE to do while in your undergrad. I want to provide these tips because I wish I knew some of these entering my first few years of university, and I wish other people did too. I am also NOT saying that you have to drink to go to a bar, because you don’t need to. It’s perfectly fine to go through your undergrad without drinking or being impaired by other means.
Here are my tips for heading to the bar as an undergrad:
- Know Your Limits
- Don’t Be Influenced to Drink More
- Choosing the Right Purse
- Drink Water
- Honor the Girl Code
- Don’t Drink & Drive
Know Your Limits
Nothing is fun about becoming unconscious and not remembering a thing you did. Plus it’s the worse feeling to only want to puke when you could be on the dance floor with your girls. There is a happy-good drunk, find yours. Even before heading out, decide on how many drinks you will have that night to avoid going overboard.
Don’t Be Influenced to Drink More
Or don’t influence anyone else to drink more. I get it, you want everyone to have fun, but some people only plan on having a drink or two. It’s their choice, don’t ruin their night.
If anyone you are with is pressuring you to drink more than you can handle:
- ditch people who force you to drink more than you can handle. These aren’t very good friends
- drink slower – if you drink slow enough, the cabs will be here and you can set down your cup no matter how full it is!
- swap your drink for straight juice or pop/soda.
Choosing the Right Purse
If you dance (& talk) with your arms and hands, then you probably want a small cross-body clutch. They let you dance carefree, instead of, holding a clutch under your armpits, and/or stuffing your bra with your phone and lipgloss – which is inconvenient and uncomfortable. Try to get a clutch that has pockets or compartments where you can keep your cash and ids separate.
You want to keep these separate; you need your ids before you get into the bar and you need your cash after you are in the bar. These are two different times you dive into your purse, so you are more likely to drop stuff/have stuff stolen without your awareness. It’s also easier for your intoxicated mind to find things when it isn’t all in the same place.
Drink water throughout the night to keep yourself hydrated. It also helps you from getting a hangover.
Honor the Girl Code
Perhaps I started doing this because I went to an all-girls university, and was a peer-mentor for first years throughout university, but please let’s all be decent human beings to each other. Have each other’s back. There are a few ways to go about this:
- First and foremost, please be mindful what consent is. If someone is intoxicated, no one has their permission to get “involved” with them. Consent happens before her first drink, a mutual agreement between two parties.
- Don’t let your friends get intoxicated and do regrettable things
- swap their drinks for juice
- take them out of bad situations
- If you see a girl walking alone at 2am – help her call a cab. Don’t leave her alone at night, especially if she is heavily intoxicated.
- if she is waiting for friends, wait with her.
- address it by saying, “hey, are you ok? are you waiting for someone?”
- If you see a girl (or guy) alone and unconscious – don’t leave them. Find their phone on them, and start calling any people they have recently texted; one of these ought to be a room-mate, or a friend who is probably concerned where they are. If you cannot physically move them out of harms way, grab a bouncer. The bouncers will have to escort them out of the bar, so make sure you have someone on their way to get them!
You would feel terrible if you leave someone behind in a bad situation, and later hear in the news/grapevine that something awful happened to them! Let’s not be bystanders to situations. Imagine what you would want if you were in a bad situation – or imagine how much you would want someone to make sure you were safe if you became unconscious.
Don’t Drink & Drive
Seriously. You’re putting everyone’s life at risk. That also includes drugs. Don’t even get in a car with someone who drank too much. Call a cab. If you cannot afford a cab, you probably shouldn’t have gone out.
Cheers to nights you look back on and remember for the positive things!
What have you learnt from your undergrad experience when it comes to the downtown life? What are some of your best nights out?