So, I know, nobody wants to be told to ruin their fun with this lame thing called “safety” right? But, it won’t ruin it! In fact, you might have a lot more fun in the knowledge that you will make it back to school with all of your fingers and sans STD’s. I don’t know, I am always conscious of staying alive, even when I am irresponsibly drunk. So, I’ve got a good amount of tips here for all sorts of stuff that I found on the internet and, some I made up myself!!
1. Before driving to your destination, have your car checked out by a mechanic to ensure it can make a long trip. I have been trapped only once in a car that thank goodness the only problem was it was out of gas and we weren’t that far from home but, even that sucked.
2. Always keep your car doors locked and your windows up high enough that no one can reach in. This is maybe not a problem when you are on a highway, especially since why would you have the windows down then anyway but, especially if you’re driving somewhere you have never been to. A location doesn’t need to look sketchy for someone to fuck your day up.
3. Drive on heavily-traveled highways and avoid making your way too far off of the interstate. Being lost not only makes you more likely to stop and ask strangers for help but, it increases the likelihood that the stranger you ask might be dangerous.
4. Don’t pick up hitchhikers. Come on, guys. Do I even need to explain this one? See 2 and 3.
5. If you do happen to have car trouble, stay in your car with the windows up and the doors locked. Be wary of people who stop to help because a broken down car is a huge target, especially when people know “dumb” college students will be around.
6. Do not allow anyone in the car to drink booze. A lot of states have an open container law. In fact, I didn’t even know that wasn’t a thing everywhere until I looked this up because I live in New York, where this law is a thing.
7. If you are tired, trade-off drivers or stop for the night or just stop driving, dude. Staying at a motel is cheaper than the costs of falling asleep at the wheel both in the sense that you could lose your life but you could just plain total yours and another person’s car!
1. Spring break is the time where people drink excessively, there is no denying that. No parents, no RA’s, no restrictions, right? Well, please, please, please drink in moderation guys. I’m 22 now so my wild binge drinking days are slowly dwindling but, I know a lot of you underage drinkers out there can party too hard but, it’s really dangerous especially when it’s a lot of people all together.
2. Watch your drink, this is a pretty good rule of thumb even if you’re just going to the bar in your hometown. Speaking of thumbs, you want to keep your thumb or palm over the top of your drink when you are not looking right at it. A date rape drug can be slipped in there pretty easily in a crowded place.
3. Use the buddy system. Often times when I go out, I am the drunk chaperon and a friend of mine is the sober one. This system, as funny as it sounds, actually works out pretty well.
4. Always make sure you have a DD; designated driver. If you don’t have one, please walk if you have friends to walk with or, better yet, take a cab. Most bars have numbers for cabs on hand and will call them for you if you need them to. They know how it is.
5. Know the signs of alcohol poisoning.
Safer Sex Tips
2. Watch your alcohol intake. 70% of college students admit to engaging in sexual activity they wouldn’t normally engage in because they were drinking.
3. Always use a condom or some other form of contraceptive but, the condom is really super important, guys. STD’s arent stopped by birth control. Refuse sex if they/you don’t have one. It isn’t worth it!
4. If you choose to “hook up,” be careful of who it’s with. Spring break is a great time for people to prey on unsuspecting, drinking college students. Remember those dangerous strangers that I mentioned up there? Make sure your friends see the person, know his/her name, and where you are going.
5. Trust your instincts—if it feels uncomfortable, don’t do it! You will have a better time if you don’t have to regret the night before!
Sun Safety Tips
*These tips are important if you’re going to the beach or hitting the slopes! Little known fact that snow, like water reflects sunlight more and increases the likelihood of a burn. My stepdad is a mailman here in the snowy north and he has a tan year round from being outside all day!
1. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (higher if you burn easily or are taking medications that increase risk of sunburn). Remember to reapply the sunscreen after swimming, sweating, and after the recommended time on the bottle. Wear sunscreen even if it is cloudy and definitely if you are doing any activity in the snow. Don’t fuck around with the sun, guys. I am very Irish so I burn really easily and I constantly forget it.
2. Wear sunglasses. Not only will they make you look rad as heck but, they protect your eyes from the sun, go figure! The sun can damage your eyes pretty hardcore, especially if you’re looking at reflective sand or snow all day! Like I said, don’t fuck around with the sun. There are different types of sunglasses that protect your eyes more or less depending, so read the tag before you buy!
3. Wear protective clothing and hats. If you really can’t be bothered with sunscreen, cover your skin with clothes. A big hat or obviously snow gear in the snow will make all the difference.
4. Follow the shadow rule: If your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are at their strongest, and you are likely to be sunburned. Get out of the sun or limit your exposure. That being said avoid the sun midday if you can, the sun is strongest in the afternoon.
7. Read the complete instructions for or talk to you pharmacist about any medication you are taking. Some medications, especially antibiotics, increase the possibility of sun damage and rashes.
8. If you are prone to cold sores, use Chapstick or lip balm with a SPF. Sunburn is often a trigger for cold sores, especially in combination with dehydration or fatigue.
Other Health Concerns
1. Dehydration is a serious concern if you are spending time in the sun and drinking alcohol. Drink non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages to help replace fluids that your body may be losing. Warning signs of dehydration include feeling thirsty, dry mouth, weakness, dizziness, headache, and decreased urine output. Just drink water in general, guys. It will make you feel loads better in your daily life and I can tell you from personal experience that dehydration headaches are the worst.
Special Tips for Traveling to Mexico or Elsewhere Abroad
1. Research your destination carefully for information on safety, law enforcement, entry/exit requirements, food/water safety, etc. The U.S. Department of State maintains Consular Information Sheets that provide extensive details about travel in other countries. Travel warnings can also be found on the U.S. Department of State web site.
2. In addition to researching your destination, take special care to research your tour group, hotel, side trip companies, and car/recreational equipment companies. Check with a travel agent before your trip to receive recommendations on legitimate, safe options.
3. Be aware of any special medical care you need before travel to another country. Travel to many countries requires special vaccinations or medications to prevent diseases common in those countries. The CDC provides comprehensive health and vaccination information by country of destination.
4. Make copies of all of your identification and plane tickets. Keep the copies locked in the hotel safe (not a room safe).
5. Inform a family member or friend in the U.S. of your travel itinerary. Make sure he/she has hotel information, transportation information, etc. Make sure he/she also has copies of all of your important documents (passport, visa, driver’s license, plane tickets, etc.).
Just be safe, friends. I would hate to see people die in a time that should be fun!
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