09Feb
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Sometimes you just need to blow off some steam after a major exam or mid-semester project. College parties can be a great way to unwind, but they can also lead to health, legal, and social problems down the road, especially when students don’t party safely.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself at a college party without putting yourself and others at risk. Consider these five ways to maximize your fun while reducing risk.

1. Party off campus

Before you pop open those bottles, think about whether you want to deal with the consequences of drinking on campus. Most colleges have strict regulations regarding alcohol and substances on campus.

Even if you aren’t participating directly in the revelry, just being present at a party can lead to housing and legal repercussions, if events lead to a nuisance or emergency situation.

Smaller infractions can affect your housing status and lead to disciplinary consequences imposed by your college.

2. Use public transit

Look into the bus and subway options in your area before you head out to a party. This can reduce the temptation to drive under the influence.

One of the most common mistakes college students make is underestimating the effect alcohol has on them before they get into a car. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 1,825 students die each year due to injuries sustained while under the influence.

If you must drive to a party, make sure to arrange alternate transportation home. This can greatly reduce your risk of a car accident, severe injuries, and legal difficulties.

3. Carry your ID and insurance card

Your ID might prove to be very useful to get into a venue, especially if your friends decide to go clubbing or barhopping before or after a party. However, these two cards can also play a significant role if you get injured during the night’s events.

If you should require medical attention or assistance from authorities, your ID and insurance cards will be invaluable.

4. Bring a phone charger

You might leave the house with a cell phone, but what good is it if the battery dies? It’s easy to forget about your phone’s battery level, but a dead device can become a major obstacle when you need to call a taxi, contact a friend, or get directions to a destination.

College students should consider taking their phone charger with them, just so you can get a small boost while you’re at a party. There are also portable battery devices that can give your smartphone a mini charge while you’re on the go, if you don’t have access to a wall outlet.

5. Don’t leave drinks unattended

Unfortunately, college parties sometimes draw predators, who can lose themselves in large crowds of strangers. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 15,000 Americans ended up in the hospital in 2009 after being drugged against their will.

Err on the side of caution and follow someone who wants to buy you a drink. Never leave your glass unattended, unless you have a trustworthy friend who can watch it.

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