Starting university is an exciting time, but it’s important to remember to stay safe during fresher’s week. There are a lot of new people and experiences all at once, which can sometimes be overwhelming. But if you follow a few simple safety tips, you’ll be sure to have a great time without putting yourself at risk.
Don’t drink too much!
First thing’s first – fresher’s week is primarily a time for making new friends and for trying out new things, not for drinking so much that you need A&E. Drinking too much will not only be embarrassing in front of your new flatmates, but it will also mean you forget everything that happened during your first week at uni. Whilst it’s a good idea to know where your closest urgent care location is, drinking until you throw your guts up isn’t the way to find out.
Don’t accept drinks from strangers
That being said, meeting new friends often involves going to parties, so you’ll inevitably be drinking quite a bit. One of the most important things to remember, however, is not to accept drinks from strangers. It might seem like harmless fun, but you never know what could be in that drink. If someone you don’t know offers you a drink, politely decline and say you already have a drink. Stick to drinks that you’ve seen made or opened yourself, and always keep an eye on your drink throughout the night. Being spiked isn’t a great way to see the emergency department either!
Stay with flatmates
Staying with flatmates is another great way to stay safe during freshers week. There’s strength in numbers, so if you stick together you’ll be less likely to run into trouble. Plus, it’s just more fun to experience everything with people you know by your side. So, if you can, try to stick together and look out for each other throughout the week. You might not become the closest of friends as the year goes on, but you’re all in the same boat right now, so you need to look out for each other.
Stay off dating apps
Dating apps can be fun, but the scary reality is that sexual predators wait for fresher’s week to target vulnerable students who have just arrived in the local area. The likelihood is that, as a fresher, you’re only 18, so whilst you may feel mature, there are plenty of people out there looking to take advantage of your naivety. It can be very tempting to meet someone you’ve met online, but chances are they’re not who they say you are. If you do go to meet anyone, make sure to tell your flatmates where you’re going, and keep your location turned on so that they can keep an eye on you!
Keep your phone charged
It’s also a good idea to keep your phone charged whenever you go out. You’re likely in a new town or city that you don’t know that well, so it’ll be easy to become lost when you’re by yourself. Keeping your phone charged, however, will mean you’ll always be able to call for help if you need it. Give all of your flatmates your number and call them if you get into trouble, and create a group chat for people to message in. Keep your phone in your pocket or bag so you don’t lose it, and make sure to charge it every night before you go out.
Take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself is also crucial during Freshers’ Week. This means staying hydrated, eating well, and getting enough sleep. It might seem like there’s no time for this when there’s so much to do, but it’s important to make time for self-care. Otherwise, you’ll quickly start to feel run down and your week will be less enjoyable. If you find yourself in a difficult or dangerous situation during freshers week, don’t hesitate to seek help. This could mean calling a friend, going to the nearest security guard, or even contacting your GP.
Ultimately, it might seem like there’s a lot you need to do to keep safe during fresher’s week, but a lot of the above advice is common sense that you hopefully already have. Follow the tips above and you’re sure to have a great time without putting yourself at risk.