While skills such as downing drinks, dancing your heart out, and holding your friend’s hair in the bathroom while they puke out their guts, can be adopted as naturally as brushing your teeth, there are some skills that are trickier to adopt into your safety- first vocabulary, and the consequences of not taking on such skills are far more severe. As young adults, we have had to bitterly develop these skills to make it home at the end of the night, and there are a few essentials that should never be forgotten. This summarised handbook of tips and tricks comes with years of research and experience and is written with the hope that that phones will not be stolen and lives will be saved.
Rule number one:
Live location is your best friend. When surrounded by flashing lights, funky music, and new people, the group you arrived with is very likely to disperse into the night. There is no shame in seeking the unknown, but make sure that your location is known by at least one other trusted person. Before ordering the Uber with your friends, make sure you have all gone on WhatsApp, clicked the location button, changed the duration to eight hours, and sent it to people you trust to help locate you if you go missing. It also comes in handy if a friend walks off to Uncle Faouzi’s for some chips without any notice.
Rule number two:
Only take one ID out with you. Unfortunately, theft has become a regular occurrence outside most bars and clubs in Hatfield. Having your wallet or phone stolen from your person is bad enough, but having your ID and driver’s license taken from you simultaneously is a doorway to the Home Affairs nightmare. Before leaving the house, make sure
wallets or phones, ideally, only contain your student card, in case your age is questioned.
Rule number three:
Familiarize yourself with the exits in case of an emergency. While the dance floor is mostly filled with harmless sheep, wolves are searching for open drinks to drop secret chemicals in, that will make their hunt easier. These wolves and their traps tend to go unnoticed, but the side effects of their visits do not. The moment you begin to experience drowsiness, impaired speech, loss of balance, and blurred vision, it is imperative that you go to a friend, or someone dancing next to you, and tell them immediately. If you find yourself at Jolly Roger’s, ask this person to escort you to the bathroom in case your symptoms worsen. Jolly’s holds the crown for safety measures in case this happens, as they have installed red panic buttons in every stall. Pressing these buttons alerts the staff and they will bring you water and assist you to safety. If you are in any other bar or club, ask your safety buddy to assist you to the bar, inform a staff member of your situation and ask if you can sit behind the bar (remaining in public view) until you can get home safely. Do not wait outside the club or bar, as the wolves always lurk in the dark.
Rule number four:
Your phone is not worth your life. Do not walk with your phone out in your hand. The wolves are fast and hungry and will snatch it out of your palm before you even realise what is going on. It is always best to walk with your phone in your pocket and covered with your hand. But if you find your phone is being taken from you, do not fight for it. Although fighting for your phone might get you out of trouble with your parents, the wolves will not hesitate to fight
for it. Fighting for your phone could lead to hospitalisation for stab wounds, gunshots, or death. Remember that your life is worth more than your phone, and that even though your parents might moan at you, they will get other it. Your
family and friends will never move on from the loss of your life.
Rule number five:
Always check the boot. While Uber brings comfort in knowing that you do not have to worry about drinking and driving, or how you will get home, it comes with its own risks and rules. When you see your shining knight in transport, remember to take off their armour and check their identity. Begin with the number plate, making sure
that it matches the one provided to you on your app. Then move to the driver; before getting into the vehicle, ask the
driver for their name and the name of the account that placed the order. This is the only instance where ‘No’ is an
unacceptable answer. If your knight has passed these tests, check the boot to avoid any Trojan Horse attacks. It is not
uncommon for a wolf to sit in the boot and bide their time to attack. While going out and meeting new people is an essential part of the varsity experience, it is important to learn these tips and skills to ensure you go on to have all these experiences of life safely.