University students usually end O-week with a bang — a huge party mostly referred to as Freshers’. This is a great way to ease into your new environment and mingle with the older students as a first year, and you should always keep safe with these 5 tips.

Go in groups

Going to your Freshers’ party alone can be pretty unsafe since it may attract some unsavoury characters. It’s also a bit of a risk if your phone dies and you can’t get a ride home. So make sure Freshers’ is a group affair and you and your squad should be set.

Keep an eye on your drink

Remember those unsavoury characters we spoke about? Well, they’re also capable of putting all sorts of drugs in your drink while you’re not looking. The best thing to do is to take your glass with you when you go to the bathroom, or simply pour yourself a new drink every time you come back. DON’T accept drinks from (even the sweetest) strangers and don’t leave your cup unattended while you’re having fun.

Make sure your phone is charged

It’s never a good idea to leave the house with a cellphone that’s anything less than 100% charged. You might take pictures and videos and update your social media all night and if your battery dies, you may not be able to catch a ride back home or call anyone if there’s an emergency. It’s also a good idea to share your location with a family member or friend who’s not at the party so they know you’re safe.

Only carry essentials

You don’t need an extra outfit, 3 tubes of hand cream, a snack and your fav teddy bear to go to your Freshers’ party. Keep a tiny bag (if you must) with only your essentials — wallet, keys, phone and lip balm. The less stuff you have with you, the smaller the chances of anything getting lost or stolen.

Plan your ride home

It’s really important to plan how you’re getting home or back to res. If you live on campus, make sure there’s a group of you walking back; but if your res is off campus then walking back at night might not be so safe. Arrange someone to pick you up or catch an Uber with your friends, make sure you take all the necessary precautions to stay safe at all times.

Most people have a blast at university — you probably will too if you prioritise your safety (and your studies, of course).

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