Hi! I’m Natalie Mutschelknaus, a Wellness Educator on campus. As a Wellness Educator, I promote healthy activities on campus, attend training events, and educate students about personal health.
With midterms and academic stress, nothing feels better than a well-deserved break, but traveling students are at a higher risk for theft, binge drinking, and risky behavior through the spring break season. Because of this, I’m here to share some tips on how to stay safe while you’re having fun away from school!
Practice safe drinking
Always keep an eye on your drink, even if it’s not alcoholic. This means don’t set it down and turn away, don’t accept drinks from strangers, and don’t leave it unattended when you go to the bathroom. If you’re too inebriated to watch your drink carefully, consider having a designated driver to watch after you and your friends.
In busy locations, it’s easy to lose track of people, especially if you’re traveling in a group. Whether you’re at a pool party, the beach, or a bar, sticking with at least one other person creates a sense of accountability and trust. By setting up a buddy system, your risk of theft, sexual assault, or being roofied greatly decreases.
Protect your stuff
Spring break destinations are popular for pick-pocketing and theft, so be extra vigilant when you’re packing. To minimize the risk, make copies of your passport, write down your credit card numbers in an app, and keep your wallet concealed when you’re out and about.
Be aware of binge drinking
Binge drinking typically happens when women drink 4 or more drinks in 2 hours and men drink consume 5 or more drinks in 2 hours. Spring break endorses a heavy drinking culture, but binge drinking could result in alcohol poisoning, STDs, or car accidents!
Be mindful of what you post on social media
According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest Network, sharing too much information on social media can endanger your safety, especially in popular spring break locations. Simply be mindful of sharing your location or revealing too much on hashtags such as #springbreak or #springbreak2020
Many spring-break areas promote a hook-up culture, but you have every right to say no if you’re around someone who’s making you uncomfortable or pressuring you. A helpful app for this is called Parachute, which discreetly alerts people on your emergency contact list. Also, try your best to keep your phone fully charged so you can stay connected! Although spring break is so much fun, keep your wits about you to stay safe.
Stay up-to-date on your vaccines
For those of you worried about coronavirus, the easiest way to prevent it is to sanitize and check your vaccines! The CDC’s vaccine quiz can help you determine whether you need to get vaccinated before you travel.
Have a fun (and safe!) spring break, Dragons!