The Student Guide to Staying Safe on a Night Out

We realise how difficult it can be for students living away from home for the first time. One of the challenges that students face is how to stay safe on a night out.

This could be during the busy first few days and weeks around Freshers’ Week in your university town, where there are loads of activities, nights out, drinking and loads of new people to meet, or at even during quieter times of the year.

We’ve put together some tips on how to have a safe night out as a student, with particular attention paid to young women finding their way home after a night out.

People enjoying in a nightclub - safe night out

Have a plan before you head out

It is much safer if you know where you are going out to, as that way you can plan your route to and from the venue, and between venues.

If you are going to the pub for a few drinks or pre-drinks at a friend’s house, before heading to the student night at a club in town, it is good to have a plan about how you will get there and plan your night out properly.

Having a clear idea of where you’ll be at certain times means you can also let people know where you are likely to be , which is always a good practice to stay safe.

A group of students planning for a safe night out

Keep communication open

Always stay in contact with your friends who are on your night out with you, but also let your friends and close family members know where you’ll be, so they have knowledge of what is likely to happen.

This can be through a conversation with a single person beforehand, or in a group chat you have with your mates who are going out with you. This can make a difference if your phone loses charge or something similar.

You can also share your live location with your trusted friends so they can find you in case you get lost in the crowd.

Girl texting on her phone

Stay with your friends at all times

A safe night out is one where you stay with your group of friends at all times, whether you are talking about the hours in a busy bar or club or travelling to and from bars.

Stay connected by pre-booking taxis where you can and always travelling together.

If you do need to split from the main group for a bit, take a friend with you, and make a group chat on your phone so you can all stay in touch during the night.

A group of friends dancing

Make sure your phone is charged

On the topic of phone charging, before going out for the night, always make sure that your phone is fully charged just before you leave home.

That way, there is little chance of you running out of battery just as you are lost or waiting for a taxi to pick you up at the end of the night.

It is also a good idea to carry a small, portable charger for those times when you are low on charge and need to quickly charge your phone to get in touch with a friend.

Phone being charged

Don’t go to a cash point alone

Most people use their phone or card to pay for things these days, but if you are planning on going to a cash point to get some cash out for the night, never do it alone.

Also, never go to a cash point alone at night. If you do need to head out on your own to get cash, plan ahead and go get some in a busy, safe place that you are familiar with, in the daytime.

Person taking money at a cash point

Be drink and drug-aware

The hangover the next day after drinking is something none of us like, so always be aware of how much and what you are drinking.

Alternate your drinks between alcoholic and soft drinks stay hydrated with plenty of water throughout the night and eat well before drinking.

You should also be aware of the impact of drink and drugs on your body, and how short-term fun can lead to long-term damage.

People a a party

Be aware of drink-spiking

It isn’t something you like to think will happen to you or your friends, but drink spiking is something to be aware of.

Always keep an eye on your drink and your friends. Never leave a drink unattended, even for a few seconds, and if you suspect that someone has spiked your drink, tell a member of staff immediately and get some water.

Staff are trained to deal with these situations and can help to keep you safe whilst trying to locate the person who has spiked the drink.

A bar

Stay street smart

Always be aware of your surroundings, be vigilant and alert to any potential dangers such as suspicious-looking people, and crowded or quiet areas where you could be vulnerable.

Trust your gut and if you feel uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation.

Always keep your valuables secure and avoid dark and secluded areas.

Even if you know a quick shortcut that gets you home quicker during the day, go the longer, better-lit and busier route at night.

Girl thinking valiantly

Have a plan for emergencies

Before heading out, have a plan with your friends for emergencies, such as a meeting point you all know how to safely get to if one of you is lost or in danger.

Know safe locations, and emergency numbers, and just plan to be as safe as you possibly can on your night out.

With some common sense, good habits, and a good network of friends with communication, you can do as much as you can to have a safe night out as a student, wherever you live.

A group of girls talking

You should always keep your wits about you, no matter whether it’s a busy student night out in a big city or you are a student living away from home during Christmas when the campus is quieter, but you still want to go on a night out with friends.

Planning for a safe night out might only take a few minutes, taking on board the tips we have mentioned above, but it could make a massive difference to your safety and well-being.

If you have any other ideas of how to stay safe as a student on a night out, let us know on our Instagram @urbanstudentlife.