Yesenia Jones | Staff Writer

Welcome to NC State, Class of 2023! This is an exciting time that will be filled with new people and surroundings. Like many incoming freshmen, you’ve probably heard stories about partying in college.

I was once in your shoes and, like many other upperclassmen, I have multiple stories that are filled with regret. Between emergency room visits, and waking up in unfamiliar places, I’d say that I have definitely learned a lot about how to be safe while partying. In order to avoid making some of the same mistakes that I did, here are some tips on how you can stay safe while also having a good time.

First, find a group of friends that you deem mildly trustworthy. At this point in your college career, it’s not likely that you will have the time to become well-acquainted with your entire friend group on campus. You probably met most of your friends in your residence hall, during summer orientation or during the Symposium for Multicultural Scholars. Let’s be real, you don’t really know half of these people. Find the group of people that you trust the most and make them your party crew. This is the most important thing you can do to stay safe while partying.

Most parties are in residential areas or apartment complexes, and it is much safer to travel to and from these areas with a group of people, especially when it’s 4 a.m. One Halloween, when my friends and I were leaving a party at 4 a.m., a man dressed in a penguin costume stood in the middle of the road so my car could not pass. I attempted to drive around this individual, but he punched the passenger side window. So be prepared for anything out there y’all!

Second, take an Uber or Lyft wherever you go. Even if you have a car on campus or someone you know has a car, ride-sharing is still a safer option because this ensures that your driver will be completely sober. I’ve heard too many designated drivers claim that they are better at driving while drunk or high than they are at driving while sober. I’ve also heard many designated drivers claim that if they spread their drinks out, the alcohol will not be in their system when it is time to drive. Do not listen to these people. They’re usually the worst at handling their liquor. Just hire yourself a driver.

Third, if you choose to drink, don’t mix dark liquors with white liquors. It might seem like a good idea when your friends are cheering you on while you chase shots of Svedka with shots of Captain Morgan. Trust me, it’s not. After doing this, I woke up in an unfamiliar apartment with vomit in my hair. Lucky for me, I have great friends who stayed overnight with me in the apartment, attempted to get most of my vomit in the toilet and paid for my Uber home the next morning. But if you find yourself in an unfortunate situation and your group abandons you, it’s likely that you’ll end up in an emergency room possibly facing underage drinking charges. This has happened to multiple people that I know, so just do your best not to mix white and dark liquors.

Fourth, if you’re going to drink the punch at a frat party, only drink it after you see one of the brothers in the frat drink it themselves. If they aren’t drinking it, you probably shouldn’t either. I’ve never had any bad experiences with punch at parties, but I’ve heard stories where the punch was spiked with molly or roofies. While it’s rare for the punch to be spiked with drugs, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Fifth, if a fight breaks out in the party, don’t stand around to watch, don’t join in if you get hit and don’t try and find everyone you came with in that moment. Fights in packed party venues can become dangerous very quickly. The fight can grow rapidly, and the stampede of people trying to get out of the house or apartment will make it difficult to find an escape route. Your best bet is to grab your closest friend by the forearm and strategically make your way out of the venue. Panicking in a situation like this can cause more harm to you and the people around you, so just stay calm and make your way out.

The sixth and final tip is to always carry tissue and small sanitizing wipes with you. If you ever have to use the bathroom at a party, you’ll thank yourself for bringing these items. Frat houses normally don’t have toilet paper or a designated soap to wash your hands with. I’m not sure why, but you’ll feel much cleaner if you have your own.

I hope these tips help make your partying experiences good memories that will last a lifetime. When partying, the most important thing is to have fun. So make friends, learn new things and party as much as you can while you still have the time.

Also, don’t forget to submit those assignments before you head out! Remembering that you had an assignment due at 11:55 p.m. while dancing and drinking will kill your vibe.