Tips for a Safe and Spooky Night
By Sophie Urey- Staff Writer
Take a look around and you’ll see that “Spooky Season” is in full swing: gory decorations line the streets, candy fills the shelves, and Spirit Halloween has made its annual appearance in strip malls around the country. This, of course, means that the scariest holiday of them all is right around the corner. People of all ages look forward to Halloween, but it holds a special place in the hearts of college students. Ask anyone on campus what they’re looking forward to this Halloween, and they’ll usually give one answer: parties. For our age demographic, Halloween night has become synonymous with getting drunk (or otherwise inebriated, if alcohol is not your substance of choice), all while dressed up as anything from a cat to Abraham Lincoln. If we are not fortunate enough to have Halloween fall on the weekend– as is the case this year, with the 31st being a Tuesday– then “Halloweekend” it is! We’ll simply party on the Saturday just prior; you cannot curb the college-aged urge to throw a rager. This is all well and good, but big parties also come with big safety risks. Whether you’re partying during the weekend or on Tuesday (bold choice, but I respect it), here are some tips to make the most of your night– safely.
Drink responsibly. You’ve heard it touted a million times before, but it’s very important to reiterate. Drinking too much can cause loss of memory, spatial awareness, and impacts your decision-making and risk-assessment skills. This can lead to devastating consequences, such as injury to yourself or another person, alcohol poisoning, or worse. If you plan on drinking, try to keep track of how many drinks you’ve had. The easiest way to do this is to have a Sharpie on you and make a tally mark on your arm or leg for each drink you’ve had. It may not go with your Halloween costume, but it may save your life. And, if you feel like you’ve had too much to drink, never get behind the wheel, and never get into the car with a driver who’s also been drinking. Spend the night at a trusted friend’s house, where you’ll be safe to wake up the next morning hungover.
Keep your drink(s) safe. While we’re on the topic of drinking, if you’re at a party with people you may not know or trust, keep a close eye on your drink at all times. You never know if someone will try to spike your drink with another kind of drug, which could completely knock you out and put yourself at risk of being in a compromising situation– that you will be completely unaware of. It’s scary to talk about, but it’s a real thing that happens. In order to prevent being “roofied”, never put your drink down; it may only take a few seconds for someone to slip something into your cup. Even if you’re holding your drink, try to keep your hand over the top of it for good measure, or invest in a drink cover that is specifically designed to prevent your drink from being spiked.
Attend other Halloween events. Maybe partying isn’t your thing– that’s totally okay. If you’re still looking for fun festivities, though, there are multitudes of events happening both on and off campus that will get you in the Halloween spirit. For example, the Office of Residential Life usually hosts a haunted house in one of the residence halls (this year, the chosen hall was Upperclass; last year, it was Anderson), and what’s a better way to get into the Halloween spirit?
Even though Halloween is on a Tuesday, I look forward to seeing everyone inevitably dressed up in outrageous costumes for class. I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween, whether you’re celebrating on Tuesday or otherwise; and, of course, if you’re still looking for something to do, trick-or-treating is always an option.