It’s college, and you might’ve had a drink or two on the weekends. It’s cool, don’t sweat it, this blog is a safe place, I’m not gonna rat you out. Alcohol can be fun. But alcohol can also lead to some not-so-fun situations. Here are 5 tips to have an overall more safe and enjoyable drinking experience:

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Eat before you go out: Eating before you go out is the drinking power move. Chowing down within the hour before you go out provides a buffer in your tummy and slows down the process of alcohol moving through your system. In other words, it makes the buzz last. My favorite off-campus weekend eats are Taco Mar, Lorenzo and Sons Pizza, Barnaby’s, and Buddy’s Burgers Breasts and Fries.

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Don’t catch-up drink: Sometimes you show up late for a party, so your friends are already gone or sometimes you’re right on time, but your friends are still already gone. Both of these situations can become kind of sticky when alcohol is involved. Don’t feel pressured to down a handle of Mango Pineapple Svedka because you were late, sober, and your drunk friend is telling you to.

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Hold on to your drink at all times: Keep your friends close and your solo cup closer. Parties can get crazy and you’re going to get pulled into a million different directions, but don’t leave your drink unattended in the kitchen while you wander off. Date rape drugs are difficult to detect once added to drinks, keeping your drink on you gives you the ability to keep an eye out.

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Have a ‘DD’ or ‘Sober’ for your friend group or party: I know the worst thing that you can do when you’re sober is hang out with a bunch of drunk people. They’re annoying, I get it. But taking one for the team and being a DD or Sober to make sure that everything runs smoothly at the party and that your friends get home safe is so important.

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Don’t try and match other people’s drinking habits: There’s always that one person in your group that wants to believe they can handle more alcohol than they actually can. Know your limits. Don’t be afraid to skip out on the 5th shot your BFF is throwing back like its juice if you think it could be the one that ruins your night. Low-risk guidelines set by the National Institute of Health say no more than 4-5 drinks in a night for anyone – including you!

Stay safe, have fun, and remember to take care of yourself and others!