Living on your own for the first time is exciting. Your parents are not around to look over your shoulder likely for the first time in your life. But with the newfound freedom comes greater responsibility.
One area in which you should be extra careful is alcohol consumption. Some people drink before coming to college, but it is much more widespread and accessible at a university. It’s okay to enjoy yourself, but don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation — know what you can handle.
First, bear in mind, it’s okay if you choose not to drink. At first you may feel out-numbered, but you’ll soon realize there are plenty of freshmen who choose not to drink. You can still have fun out at parties or around Winston-Salem without drinking.
As I was beginning college, I heard many stories of peer-pressure to drink.
Thankfully, however, I did not experience that. I did not go to many parties freshman year — I chose to explore Winston-Salem with friends instead.
I didn’t know exactly what to expect of my first party, but an upperclassman immediately reassured me that it was completely fine to not drink.
If you do drink, though, know your limits. If you did not drink before coming to college, go easy until you learn your limits. You don’t want to be one of the members of the freshman class who is transported to Student Health or the hospital every year.
There will be plenty of time to enjoy yourself during your four years, so don’t go too hard right away. While you’re at parties, avoid the punch and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know.
Even if you are responsible with alcohol, make sure you go and stay with friends at parties. If you lose track of a friend along the way, don’t leave without them.
Alcohol and parties are not the only time you should be conscious of your safety.
You should be careful in everyday situations, as well. Wake Forest is home to its own police department and the campus is closed to the public at nights, but the university is in a city, so you must be mindful of certain things you can do to stay safe.
Try not to walk around at night by yourself. Even if it’s just a late night at the library, try to walk back with someone you know. If that’s not possible, WFUPD will escort you back to your dorm if you call the non-emergency phone number.
The next piece of advice I have for you is simple, but many people forget to lock their door. Every year, items are stolen from unsecured rooms, but that is one crime that is easily preventable. Lock your door when you’re not in your room and at night even though residence halls are locked. Even if you may be nearby, you never know who is in the building.
A couple times during my Wake Forest career, drunk people returning from parties have tried to open my door. Even if it’s someone you know — I can tell you from personal experience — you probably don’t want to see them drunk in your room at 2 a.m. So, stay safe and lock the door.