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Freshers 101: 11 tips for surviving nights out at university

12th October 2015

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Nights out at university can be a minefield – especially if you’ve moved from a small town to a big city and aren’t used to the pressures of being party-ready at a moment’s notice.

If you’ve just emerged from the organised fun of freshers’ week, you probably aren’t fully orientated to your new city’s nightlife – in fact, you probably don’t know where you’re going, or how to get there, or which clubs are going to offer you a decent night - or even how much drink you can consume without falling over/ vomiting into a drain.

It's a tought world out there for a fresher unleashed in a big city. 

To help out, as part of our Freshers 101 series we’ve asked a few experts about the best ways to ensure you end your nights out on top form – and don’t suffer too much in the morning.

So take a deep breath – it’ll be fun, we promise.

Abbie, social sciences student and blogger at Yet Another Student Blog, on going out whilst sober...

“This is mainly one for pre-drinks... don't awkwardly stand there. Join in, take your own soft drink and keep it with you, talk to people and get involved.” 

“Suggest being the designated photo taker. Great if it is a friend’s birthday. Take a camera or use your phone and take photos of the night. Then you can be in the action and with your friends.”

Suzannah Robin, Sales and Training Manager at AlcoDigital:

“There are a number of things undergraduates can do to safeguard themselves from unnecessary harm, including pre-ordering a registered taxi to take them home at a certain time after a night out, always informing housemates of their whereabouts and never leaving their drinks unattended.”

Anna Hammond, BigChoice Group B2B Marketing Manager:

“Put vodka in an old hair spray bottle (the pumpy one). The bouncers will have no idea what you’re taking into their club!”

James Thornhill, The National Student Editor:

“Don’t take pills from a man who has just handed them to you in a club.”

The experts at Drinkaware:

“Eating isn’t cheating. Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol, stopping it going to your head too quickly - so now’s the time to put those student cooking skills to the test! Carbs or protein such as pasta, potatoes and chicken are good to eat before or while you're out drinking. They’ll keep you full, and the slow release of energy will help you last the distance. You’ll be more tempted to avoid that guilty 2am kebab or chips too.”

“Where do I live again? It’s easy to forget you’re somewhere relatively new. Plan your journey while you've got a clear head, and you've got a better chance of making it home without any surprise detours to the wrong part of town. If there's a last train, set a reminder on your phone so you don't get sidetracked. Know where the buses stop and whether you need a ticket before you get on. Book a cab to save yourself a long wait; have a licensed cab number ready just in case or download the ‘Good Times’ app to book one from your location at the end of the night.”

“If one of you does overdo it, make sure you know the difference between a bit too much and alcohol poisoning, and what to do if it’s really serious.”

“Drink a glass of water when you get home - you’ll thank yourself in the morning!”

“Is your cab really a cab? No matter how late, there's no reason to go for a dodgy cab. Get some numbers for local cab firms stored on your phone or if you haven’t done that the venue you’re in will know of some. If you've got a long wait for a taxi, stay somewhere safe and well-lit until your cab turns up, ideally with a friend.”

(Editor – we’d also like to remind you off a helpful little app called Uber at this point...)

For more freshers advice – on subjects including health, finance and accommodation – visit our Freshers 101 round-up piece.

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