Ten tips for staying safe during Fresher’s week
By Nicole Correia,
So you’re moving away from home for Fresher’s week and your parents are stressing you out about it - you haven’t even left yet. Hold your breath, count to ten; they’re probably just worried about your safety; if you’re capable of looking after yourself properly, if you’re going to “be careful” at every opportunity, and if you can cook without burning yourself or new student accommodation down. Here are theunipod’s tips to stay safe during your first week at uni and to help you prove to your parents that you’re sensible, safe and a Fresher’s week survivor.
- Make sure your housemates have your mobile number - should you get separated in a club, whilst out and about, or drink a bit too much, it’s important they have some way of contacting you to sort things out. And vice versa.
- The old wise saying “there’s safety in numbers” isn’t a myth - the more of you there are the better it is, especially when you’re out at night during Fresher’s week in an area you’re not familiar with.
- Do not get in the first cab you see - use the cab services that are recommended to you at Fresher’s Fayre. They’re licensed and safe. If you can help it, try to prevent leaving someone in a cab on their own after a night out - after a few drinks we are all at our most vulnerable.
- Don’t leave your drink, go to the loo, and come back to it. You just never know. Drinks get spiked very easily and the effect on people varies but it could be extremely dangerous. Even if you’re strapped for cash it is not worth it. Get another one.
- Drugs. Use your noggin’ and have some common sense. Do not take anything from anyone, regardless if they’re on your course, working behind your favourite bar or chatting with someone you know well.
- Know your limits. Getting drunk is fun sometimes but can, in certain situations, be dangerous. Students are notorious for binge drinking but THINK about it - it’s your first week at university, and you want to make friends with students, not the bouncers of a club. Don’t put yourself and others at risk just because you want a good night. It could end up being a very bad night if you don’t listen to your body.
- It is essential that as a Fresher in your first week at uni, you sign up to your GP upon moving into your university town. Medical advice is very important especially when you’re miles from home and looking after yourself independently.
- If you’re up all night to get lucky, as many of us sometimes are, carry a condom. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a boy, it takes two to tango and you will be judged if you don’t have one. Get it together!
- If you’re out in a group, look out for each other, especially during Fresher’s week when things can get a little crazy. With the temptation of a bar and dance floor and various music rooms it is inevitable that a group will split off, but just let someone know - especially if you’re going off with someone new/you don’t know.
- If you’re unwell then don’t suffer in silence - tell someone and get some help to get better. It’s the same if you feel uncomfortable - get away and get someone’s attention. If you’re very anxious when out and on your own, make as much noise as possible (you’re a Fresher, this will come naturally!) and whatever is making you feel at ill-ease will probably back off and someone will come and help. No one wants a scene, so do whatever is necessary. Most importantly try not to worry – everyone else is in the same position as you. Our guide to coping with first year panics will help you along your way.