Spring break is one of the most exciting times for college students. These kids finally get the opportunity to travel with a large group of their friends. It is very common for sororities and fraternities to plan extravagant trips and truly take over the beaches for a week. Although it is an exciting time, as a young adult it is easy to forget about all of the ways to keep yourself safe. It is extremely important to be vigilant and use safety precautions when traveling as a college student.
College spring breaks are a huge target for people that want to create harm. These students are also at huge risk for injury during this time of year. Here are some of the best ways that young adults can practice safety during their week off from school:
Use The Buddy System
Although you typically go on spring break with a group of friends, many times one person tends to veer off on their own. This is never a good idea. Always use the buddy system and stick together. This can protect you from so much potential harm.
Stay Alert + Be Aware
It is extremely important to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. The excitement can definitely be a distraction, but try to make it a point to pay attention to those around you and again stay with your group. Unfamiliar locations can be breeding grounds for theft, scams, and predators. Always make sure to keep your eye out for any suspicious behavior that could result in a harmful situation.
Practice Water Safety
If you are visiting a beach, it is important to pay attention to the various beach flags that indicate if the water is safe for swimming. Additionally, when swimming in an ocean, be aware of rip tides and rip currents and know how to get yourself out of that situation. Don't swim alone, at night, in storms, or while intoxicated. For more beach safety tips, read here.
Watch Your Drinks + Your Intake
Combining alcohol with swimming and tanning can be so incredibly dangerous, so this tip may be arguably the most important one. For starters, never drink in a hot tub, as the effects of drinking are fest faster and stronger. Alcohol can dilate your blood vessels and lower your blood pressure to dangerous levels.
Next, it is vital for you to watch your drinks at all times and never leave them unattended. Watch your bartender pour your drink, or bring your own to mix for yourself so that you know exactly how much you are consuming. This also ensures that you do not become a victim to being drugged.
On spring break, it is important that you not only watch your drinks, but also your intake. Participating in drinking games often results in consuming way more than you intended, putting you in a very dangerous and risky situation. Set your own limits and try not to exceed that maximum. Drink plenty of water in between your alcoholic drinks to remain hydrated.
Be smart and if you or a friend has consumed such high levels of alcohol and you are concerned, never hesitate to call the police. Many states have what they call an amnesty law, which was enacted to protect students seeking medical attention from illegal action for underage drinking and possession of alcohol and/or other drugs. The purpose of this policy is to reduce the hesitation caused by fear of legal action to seek medical attention. The life of you or a friend is precious and if you are concerned about health and safety, it is your responsibility to take action.
Have A Plan
If you are going out, your group needs to have a plan on how you are getting there and back. Will you walk? Do you have a designated driver? Is rideshare an option? Whichever option you choose, safety is key. When walking, use these pedestrian safety tips. If you are the designated driver, take your role seriously so that everyone gets back safely. If you are using rideshare, be aware of potential risks and always ride with a group of friends - never alone.
Protect Your Location
Sharing too much location information on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram can endanger your safety. It not only tells people that you aren't home, increasing the risk of break ins and theft, but also tells people exactly where to find you, putting you at even further risk of harm. Although it is tempting to share stories and status updates about your trip, it is smart to share photos without a location, or wait until your trip is over to share.
Parents - educate your college student about the importance of their safety this spring break. Students - take your safety seriously so that you and your friends have an enjoyable time away!
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