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Image from Pexels

I am not a party person. I go out or have parties at my own house at most once a week and these are no Project X disasters. The parties I go to are with friends, friends of friends, and friends of those friends. That being said, I still take precautions (even at my own house) and encourage others to take precautions when attending such events, whether it’s ten friends in a dorm room or 100 people in a house. These are my five basics:

1. Know “safe” people.

The ones you came to the party with, or plan on meeting there. The less people you know at a party, the closer you want to stay to this friend/friends at all times. Of course, this isn’t just for safety but to avoid feeling too awkward when you suddenly don’t have anyone to talk to.

2. Know the bathroom.

You will most likely need it at least once throughout the night. Find it right away when you get to the party, when you’re still in the right state of mind. Or poke around the area with your safe friend early on. If you and/or your friend are partaking in party beverages, you may need to lead each other to the bathroom in order to break the seal or (if your body doesn’t agree with a particular amount of Fireball) there may need to be some hair-holding.

This is not only for your sake but the hosts’ as well. I have watched people frantically craning her necks in search of a bathroom with the tell-tale sign of holding their hand over their mouth, and I say a silent prayer that they make it in time and the hosts have plastic bags and paper towels ready. No one wants to clean up another person’s mess, and no one wants to be the person to make the mess. If you feel something isn’t settling well in your stomach, stand near the bathroom.

3. Tell safe friend where you’re going.

Or better yet, take them with you. Buddy system at any college event or gathering is the best system. If you go to the bathroom, let them know and they’ll wait outside the door for you. If you go off to chat with a cutie in the corner, they can keep an eye on you both from across the room. If you plan on leaving the party with this cutie, your friend can know to call you in the morning to make sure you made it back to your dorm…or to breakfast with the cutie.

In any other setting if you ask a friend to help you walk up a flight of stairs safely, they’d say, “Bro. I’m not your babysitter.” But I promise when you ask a friend to watch over you or take you somewhere, there is an understanding of why in the context of a party. We are all mutual babysitters.

4. Leave your drink in safe friend’s hand.

For obvious reasons. I’m not encouraging you to be paranoid and assume the party is full of potential rapists. But it doesn’t hurt to ask a friend to hold onto your drink if you need to tie your shoe or anything. Worry of sexual assault aside, you also don’t want to put down your cup of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and accidentally pick up a cup of straight tequila.

5. Know how you’re getting home.

I have spent three parties so far, running around my house looking for enough DDs to bring friends back to campus and I urge everyone to understand: no matter how close friends you are with the party hosts, it is not their responsibility to find you a ride home. It’s already a struggle for me to make sure there are enough drinks in the cooler, toilet paper in the bathroom, and plastic bags for those who have gone too hard in the paint. We planned and provided a space for the party, it is the guests’ responsibility to get out on their own. Plan your method of escape before you come over, or early on.

Though we’re not obligated to babysit you, you are obligated to babysit your DD. Make sure they stay qualified to serve as DD for you throughout the night. If that fails, then at least you have your safe friend. That increases your number of contacts you can text or call, asking for a ride home.

Mostly for more intimate parties greek life and sports houses work more methodically. mostly sounds like it’s for girls. but anyone can follow or need this advice.

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Alicia Lalicon is a junior at The College of New Jersey, pursuing a Psychology major with a Women’s and Gender Studies minor. When she’s not reading about mental health and feminist ideas, she proudly enjoys dancing across bamboo sticks as the secretary of Barkada (TCNJ’s Filipino club). Her life philosophy is to always strive for improvement: physically, mentally, and intellectually. Her life motto is “You don’t owe anyone any emotions or reactions.” You can find her being seemingly cold-hearted on Twitter, reblogging black clothes and food on Tumblr, and reading intently behind a book or laptop screen.

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