As the teams behind Alcohol Awareness Week begin the task of showing us all how to look after ourselves a little better when it comes to our drinking habits, the UnCOVered team thought we should have a think about staying safe when you’re on a night out.
If drinking is something you choose to partake in, then this blog could be the one for you! In the UnCOVered team, we’ve got people who enjoy a drink, don’t drink at all, and can take it or leave it. But the thing we’re all set on is that you can have a great night out with or without alcohol. Mostly we reckon, it’s all about the people, and staying safe together! Here’s how:
1. Make sure you know who you’re with
When you’re new to university it’s possible find yourself out for the night before you’ve had a chance to exchange numbers with your flatmates or course mates. Try to remember to make this a priority when you move in. It doesn’t have to be the first thing you say to anyone, but having each other’s numbers means you can contact each other straight away should you need anything.
Try starting a house or course Whatsapp group then you’ll all know where you are at the same time.
2. Know where you are
In a new town or city, it takes a good amount of time to fully learn your surroundings. When you’re going on a night out, make sure you’ve planned where you’re going to go together, so you’re all on board. If you change your mind, see friends you weren’t expecting to, or decide you’ve had enough and want to go home, be sure to let someone from your group know.
A great piece of advice is to turn on the ‘find your friends’ function on your phone, or download an app for Android here. No it’s not just a creepy tool you can use for spying on your ex! It’s actually an ingenious way of knowing that your friends are safely where they’re supposed to be, or a map so you can find them if either of you is lost.
Eat before you drink. “Eatin’s cheatin'” is one of the more dangerous sayings to have found its way into our vernacular nowadays. If you don’t eat and decide to drink, you are MUCH more likely to end up having an unpleasant night out than a great one.
Although eating will not prevent you from getting drunk, it will help delay the rate of alcohol absorption. Please don’t think it’s wise to save drinking calories by not eating either. Eating a healthy meal before having a drink will be much better for your body than not eating at all.
4. Get to know the Protection Service
You will see/have seen these guys around a lot in Freshers’ Week. They’re here to support and look after you when it comes to your security. You can go to them in the Alan Berry building for UV marker pens, burglar alarm units and for personal attack alarms, which are a good idea to carry with you in the unlikely event you should need one.
You can call Protection on 024 7765 7363. The team has a 24/7 response to incidents on campus or in University-owned accommodation and they staff a campus-wide CCTV surveillance system.
If you’re concerned about anything on campus call the emergency hotline on 024 7765 8555 (5555 on internal phones).
5. Download the Health and Wellbeing App
Coventry University’s Health and Wellbeing Department have teamed up with Serious Games International to create an app which means you’re only ever a few clicks away from University support.
- Interactive maps to University buildings, A&E and the NHS Walk in Centre
- Emergency contact info for the University
- Up to date transport links including bus and train services and phone numbers for local taxi firms
You can download Coventry Uni’s Health and Wellbeing app here on iPhone or here on Android.
6. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated when drinking will not protect your liver, and it will not make you less drunk. However, it may mean you feel less ill the following day.
While you cannot cure a hangover with water, drinking it in between your alcoholic drinks will help you keep your body hydrated, and mixed with moderating your drinking and knowing your limits could mean you avoid the dreaded hangover. Drinking less alcohol and more water is always going to be the healthier decision for your body!