If you’re a freshman, sometimes even a sophomore, then you likely shouldn’t be drinking. The legal drinking age is 21 in the United States, and Syracuse University and the Syracuse PD have strict enforcement policies in regards to this rule. Underage drinking can lead to expulsion from the University and legal charges brought against you.


However, it is naïve to think that young adults at college don’t fantasize about the party lifestyle and sip some beer on occasion. While we don’t condone this behavior, we’re also aware that it happens – the best thing we can do is offer advice to young drinkers in order to stay safe at parties.


Older, of-age drinkers should also be wary of college parties as well. While sometime they can just be a fun time with friends, bad things can happen when a bunch of young adults are together and inebriated. From rowdy and illegal behavior to more nefarious things like sexual assault, it’s important for anyone at a party to stay safe and be on guard to make sure they get home at the end of the night.


Always Keep an Eye On Your Drink

This is something that young women especially need to pay attention to at parties. It’s often that teens get wrapped up in their good time, setting their drinks down for games or going to the bathroom, or even sitting one down and getting it swapped in the chaos of the party. When you leave a drink vulnerable to others, you risk being drugged or with an overly-spiked drink.


The first rule is to never let your drink out of sight. It may be distasteful, but take it into the bathroom with you. If you happen to set your drink down for whatever reason, don’t pick it back up when you come back to it. Pour out the contents and make a new drink if you’d like.


If all else fails and you feel like you might have been slipped something, tell a friend of the same gender that you can trust. If they brush off your concerns, immediately call a close contact and ask them to come get you. Don’t go with anyone else until they arrive.


Always Have a Designated Driver

If you’re going to a party and you want to actually make it back to your house at the end of the night, driving is necessary. Driving is also a good alternative to walking even if you live within a short of the party – being drunk or buzzed on the street leaves you vulnerable to others who may have ulterior, violent motives.


This designated driver isn’t always someone who comes to the party with you – and if you’re smart, they shouldn’t be. If you assign a designated driver who goes to the party with you, they may also be coerced to drink and fall victim of the “well it was just one beer” mentality. Your designated driver should always be stone-cold sober at the end of the night.


Don’t Drink Excessively

Drinking is a nice way to loosen up and unwind, but the more alcohol you consume, the less likely you are to make good, rational decisions as the night progresses. Don’t become a person who drinks excessively and makes choices they regret in the morning. Stick to a limit you set for yourself – three beers or two shots. You know what your limits are, so don’t surpass them.


This is also something to keep in mind for your overall health. Binge drinking isn’t a good practice for anyone, but especially not for someone at the average college age. Also, remember to eat something before and after you arrive at the party in order to put food on your stomach. This helps absorb the alcohol in your system and prevents unnecessary hangovers.