So you find yourself at Dropzone on a Thursday night having a good time with your friends. You leave your drink at your table to head to the dance floor. After a quick dancing session you return to your table and finish your drink. Before you know it you start to feel dizzy, nauseous and you cannot speak properly. The night starts to become a blur and in the end you are on the club’s floor, passed out in a bathroom or perhaps even in a 24/7 McDonald’s booth. This is an all too common occurrence among students, particularly first years. You will never go out as much in your life as when you are a student. It is essential that when you go out that you know the dos and don’ts of clubbing and alcohol use.

The buddy system
Remember that system you were taught in primary school? When going on a field trip you always had to have your buddy with you. That rule still applies. When you decide to go out, never go alone. It is always good to take friends with, not just for fun but for safety purposes as well.

Going out alone may make you vulnerable to both drink-spiking and mugging. The odds of someone taking on a larger group are much lower. When you leave to go home or to a new drinking destination, never leave anyone behind. If you go to Hatfield Square with five people, make sure to leave with those same five people.

Leave no drink behind

You should be just as vigilant about your drink as you are about your friends. Leaving your drink unattended is one of the most dangerous things you could do. By leaving your drink unattended you expose yourself to people who may either innocently have a sip of your drink or, not so innoncently, spike it. Whenever you have a drink, always finish it before going anywhere else, or take it along with you.

Be suspicious of everyone
Keep in mind that not all people have good intentions. When going out always be wary of the people surrounding you. Invitations to any place from anyone that you do not know are suspicious. When a strange man offers you some hubbly in his car two blocks away, say no and go back to your friends.

One beer: good. One beer, two shots of vodka, a shot of tequila and some Stroh Rum: not good.
It would be wise to never mix alcoholic drinks (you’ll thank yourself in the morning for this). If you’re going to drink vodka, stick to vodka. If you’re going to drink beer, stick to beer. It’s a logical decision.

Perhaps it would also be wise to stick to the bartender’s suggestions as your best friend’s taste in shots is not necessarily as wise.

One beer is never just one beer
This little ploy will always fool you. When you go out for just one beer, chances are you’ll end up having several. Never go out with the intention of having just one beer. It’s unlikely that this will happen, and you don’t want to disappoint yourself.

The next Thursday evening you go out, keep the above-mentioned information in mind. In fact, keep this article pinned onto your fridge. This way you can always refer back to it and if you regret the night before, let it be a sobering reminder of what not to do next time.

Photo: Oan de Waal

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