How to Safely Go Out on the Town


Going to college is the first taste of freedom students get before fully emerging into adulthood, especially if you live on campus. You don’t have to ask your parents when you must be home because you make your own curfew. 

 This increased freedom can encourage us to do things that may not benefit us. You might go out to the bar for the first time with friends on a Thursday night when there’s an important exam on Friday morning.  

We make these decisions because we are only in college for four years. What is even more important, though, is ensuring we care for our well-being while deciding to go out on the town. It is vital for people, particularly women, to understand that it is okay to go out and have a good time, but you need to understand the risks and how to combat them. 

If a friend really wants you to go out tonight, the first question you should ask is, “Who is going to be the designated driver?” Drunk driving is something that puts yourself and others at risk, and it is easily avoidable by finding someone to drive everyone home. 

A designated driver doesn’t have to be someone going to the bar with you. It can be someone who has agreed to pick you up when you call and are ready to leave. Do not hesitate to ask a sober friend for a ride home because it can save your life and others. 

Especially if you are a woman, do not take a ride from someone you do not know. Call everyone you know in your contacts or find a sober friend before going home with someone you just met. 

The world should not be like this, but it is. People tend to take advantage of drunk women because they are vulnerable. Protect yourself, and do not hitch a ride from a random guy just because he offered it. 

Never go to the bar alone. Always make plans with at least one friend to go together. If you go alone, how are you going to get home? Going out alone late at night makes it much easier to be a target for people with ill intentions, so find a group and stay with them. 

Never leave your drink alone. Some people come to the bar to harm others; all it takes is a small pill in your glass. With that being said, do not take a drink from someone else. Only drink something if you see it being made and handed to you. If you accidentally leave your drink alone to go to the bathroom or elsewhere, do not drink it. The $10 you spent on that one drink is not worth something that will scar you for life. 

Nightcap is a company that makes drink covers to further prevent roofies. At first, it is a regular black scrunchie to wear on your wrist or in a messy bun. Pulling the scrunchie makes it a black drink cover with only space for a straw, making slipping something into a drink nearly impossible. 

Going to college is a rite of passage and can be exciting. However, it can also be hazardous. Making sure to take the proper precautions is crucial to preventing something unwanted from happening. 

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted while going out, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline for 24/7 confidential support at (800)-656-4673 or chat online at For on-campus security, contact 911, 9-911 if you are calling from a campus line, or the ABAC police non-emergency number at 229-391-5060. 

Anslee James is a junior double majoring in history & government and writing & communication. When she isn’t at the gym, she can be found playing with her dog, Lola, or listening to Taylor Swift. She hopes to eventually become an attorney and become a partner of a firm in the future.

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