Strathclyde Telegraph

Staying Safe On Student Nights Out

By Gemma Cringles, @gemmalynsey_

A night out with your friends can be one of the best ways to let your hair down and have fun. Being in Glasgow, one of the liveliest cities, with one of the biggest student populations in the UK, there is always a good night to be had. However, it is important that while you’re out having fun you are aware how to avoid potentially risky situations.

Alcohol slows your reactions and lowers your awareness, so while it’s tempting to do a round of shots with every drink, try and think a little bit sensibly. At the end of the day, you are responsible for yourself. You don’t want to overdo it at pre-drinks and then get turned away from the club for being too drunk. Equally, you do not want to be the drunken mess that has to get thrown out of the club by the bouncers for being sick all over the toilets- the jägerbombs never look good in reverse. Try to not make yourself vulnerable to dangerous situations- your friends won’t be thanking you for ruining their night by having to act as your personal babysitter.

Clubs are extremely hot inside so if you’re drinking alcohol it’s really easy to get dehydrated. All clubs offer free tap water so even just taking a breather from the dance floor and having a glass of water or a soft drink between the vodka cokes is a good way to pace yourself. You’ll still get tipsy and have a good time, but you’re less likely to get carried away… you’ll also thank yourself the next morning when you are hangover free.

It’s more than likely that you will meet, and indeed talk too, people you don’t know in clubs and for the most part, it’s harmless fun. The majority of people you’ll meet are students or young adults, like you, who are just out for a good time. However, you have to be aware that not everyone’s intentions are genuine, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Don’t let people hand you alcohol unless you’ve gone with them to the bar and the drink has not left your sight since. If you’re on the dance floor and someone offers you their drink, don’t take it- particularly if they’re not drinking it themselves, you don’t know what’s in it or where it’s been. Unfortunately drink spiking does occur and you should always be wary- no matter how nice the person offering seems to be.

Alcohol can make people lose their inhibitions and whilst some can become more loving of the world, others aren’t granted such positive side effects. Liquid confidence effects personalities differently and sometimes you have to be rude in order for that overly persistent guy to take the hint and leave you alone-don’t be scared to say go away, chances are you won’t see them again anyway. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, you can come up with signals for your friends to come and intervene if someone is getting a bit strong willed. If someone really won’t leave you alone and you feel uncomfortable then speak to one of the bouncers, they are there for your safety so don’t be afraid to use them if you need them.

If you find yourself in the situation where you want to go home with someone, make sure your friends know where you are and who you’re with. Text your friends the address you’re going to and make sure they know who you’re going home with, a name as well as a face. If you just disappear, you’re putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.

It sounds obvious, but you should never do anything you’re not completely comfortable with. If someone is really worth your attention, they won’t pressure you to do anything you don’t want to do. You might think there’s a certain expectation of you or want to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s having another drink when you know you’ve hit your limit or going home with someone who you’ve just met, it’s your life and you owe it to yourself to make the best choices you can.

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