Top 5 tips for Staying Safe On a Night Out: The first years guide

1. Failure to plan is planning to fail

I love spontaneity as much as the next person and have been on many an unplanned night out normally dragged along by Daniel in first year! But even if it’s a few minutes of planning it’s an important part of your night. Know the basics, Where are you going? If you need tickets/ have bought tickets, What time are they for? How much time do you need to give yourself to get there? and who do you plan to leave with?

2. We go together, Like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong

Watch out for your friends, both during the night – whilst you meet new people and maybe have a boogie with others – but also at the end of the night. DO NOT leave alone! I’m not sure what it is about wanting to just head home once you’ve reached a certain point, but override that fight or flight and make sure you’ve got at least one person to go home with. Safety in numbers as the old adage goes.

3. Spiking

If someone is determined to spike your drink, they will and it is an awful experience that I hope you’ll reach out for help for. 

  • Defend – think of the classic things your parents/ guardians tell you: Never leave your drink unattended and return to drink it, don’t (always) accept things from strangers – I love a free drink as much as the next person but be wary of who you are getting it from. There are lots of cup covers and things you can find online now too if you are interested.
  • For if you are spiked – if you can – communicate what you can to friends or bartenders or security. Try to stick to people you trust who can get you to a place of safety.
  • Next, get yourself to the hospital if you can/ want to, you may need some physical support and reassurance you will be okay.
  • In the aftermath don’t be hard on yourself. Well-being and support services are available if you wish to access them.

4. Here’s my number, so call me, maybe

Communication is key, so have your phone charged to the max and bring that portable charger with you if you can. If you couldn’t fight ‘Tip 2’, at least give a friend, your sibling, even your mum or give nightline : 01392 724000 a call, they are a confidential helpline with students who are happy to talk as you walk home.

If you are going to walk, stick to well lit areas as much as you can also because that’s where most security cameras are. If you get in trouble try your hardest to make noise, shout ‘fire/help’, bang on doors or grab the attention of Shopkeepers/ Bouncers/ passersby.

5. Jumped in the cab, here I am for the first time

If you don’t fancy the walk there’s the choice of a taxi or bus. Money comes and goes but your safety comes first.

Apple taxis are an easy go to, save their number or download the app before your night out. But also walking down to Sainsbury’s on Sidwell Street is a good shout if you are having to wait a while, as there’ll normally be some taxis lined up ready to go.

If you live on Streatham campus the Uni Night bus which runs Wednesday to Friday, is £2 and can be taken from well lit bus stops (see the Stagecoach website for info and timetables). 

Now of course preparing can only get you so far and there’s nothing more that you can do, but know that if something happens, it’s not your fault and there is help in place. Please have a look here for more advice and information for staying safe on your night out:

Have fun,

Beth x