For starters, the idea is to party like there is no tomorrow – but not have the party follow you into tomorrow. Try and maximize your fun while minimizing the risks that come with being a young person with the nightlife scene.
The buddy system – travel in multiples
Remember having a buddy during school trips when you were younger to keep one child from being left behind or lost? Or a desk mate in class who became your study partner and automatic friend? The first step to partying done right is to utilize the 'buddy system'. It’s school all over again, but without the school part.
The point of the system is for each of you to keep an eye on each other while you are out and make sure you all get home safely. You can go find a friend who wandered off for too long, someone can get you a taxi if you’re drunk or vulnerable and you are more likely to make it out of a precarious situation if you have a backup. Just like all the spy sidekick movies where the hero’s trusty number two hits the creepy villain over the head when we’re about to bid adieu to the good guy.
If you think about it, a person is less likely to sexually harass or rob you if you are in the midst of a group or if they fear repercussions from the person/s you are with. Particularly if they know that someone is going to be looking for you if you don’t come back to your friends.
The 'what if' talk
In a large group you may find solutions to unplanned situations easily, but as a pair or three, planning ahead is always a better bet. Having the 'what if' talk prior to a night out will not only give you peace of mind but it will also prepare you for scenarios you may not have accounted for.
a) What if you meet someone you would like to leave with at the end of the night?
Should your friend insist on calling the cab for the both of you so as to track the trip and therefore know the destination? Or stealthily take down the number plate of the person’s car?
b) What if you are in distress and need your friend to intervene?
Is there a code word you can say in conversation or send in a text to let them know?
Better out than in
Try as much as possible to party in clubs, festivals or anywhere with multitudes of people. When you’re in these spaces, you are automatically on your guard. Why is this good?
At house parties, there is a feeling of well-being and false security that predators take advantage of. Instances of rape and sexual harassment are higher at house parties and functions because people’s defences are down.
Carry your own
If you must attend a house party, then carrying your own supplies. And no I am not kidding.
Carry your own drinks when going to a house party, carry your own protection if you are sexually active, carry your own bag so you aren’t left stranded if separated from your friend/s and carry your own emergency money and identification.
Basically, be prepared for any eventuality possible.
Carrying your own also means keeping your own. Keep your glass with you at all times or don’t drink from it after leaving it unattended. It means not accepting drinks that you didn’t see being prepared. Because your drink could be spiked in both incidences. Always assume someone around you won’t have the best intentions.
The hard truth is you are not surrounded by friends at all times and even your friends cannot be infinitely mindful.
Carrying your own leads to actually using it as well. Having protection on you as a sexually active person is the bare minimum requirement for everyone. But don’t just have it, use it!
It may sound like an older person’s problem but hydrating will define your experience. A glass of water for every glass of alcohol will keep you buzzed for a longer period of time and hangover-free. It’s the difference between a sprint and a marathon.
If you want to be the last one standing, always have a water bottle on hand during a night out. This, coupled with the fact that you are at your most vulnerable when drunk, not only improves your overall experience but also keeps you safe from predators.
Furthermore, if you are unable to reach a trusted cab driver or lack a sober friend to drive you home, you will need to be relatively alert for your cab ride home. Taking a cab or other forms of public transport at night comes with risks. Being alert during the ride and using reputable means largely helps with these risks.
Everything is all about managing your morning after fall out: it’s easy to get sucked into the party scene and culture. But tomorrow will inevitably come. So stay together, stay on your guard, and stay hydrated!
Questions? Head to our discussion board for help.