Options Solutions Guest Student Blogger – Good Girls in the Badlands: A Post Just for Girls
I should start by saying, “Congratulations.” You are going to university! That’s a big step in your personal and educational life. I’m sure getting here has been a lot of hard work, with ups and downs—but you did it! *high-five*
University is going to be a great place for you to explore, but there are some dark places on a university campus. University is 10,000+ young adults being corralled into one place, while they try and figure out who they are. Naturally, some of them make some mistakes. I hope that this post helps you identify some warning signs, so you can stay out of harm’s way.
Here is a story I have from first year that will highlight some of the red flags you’ll have to navigate in the university party scene:
I was born in September, so I was underage all first year, but I went to school on the border of Quebec—where the legal drinking age is 18. Although I am not a big drinker (one light American beer usually puts me at my max capacity), my friends were all headed to a night club over the border so I tagged along to see what it was all about. My inexperience was apparent when I wore leggings and a v-neck. Apparently I missed the memo about the dress code. (RED FLAG #1: BEWARE OF THE MEAT MARKETS!)
The place was packed, but not just with college kids; there were some people who were easily in their 40’s. (RED FLAG #2: BEWARE OF SIGNIFICANTLY OLDER PEOPLE!) Our guy friends spotted some kids from class, so they went to talk to them, leaving me and my two girlfriends alone. (RED FLAG #3: BEWARE OF GIRLS ONLY GROUPS!) The drink offers starting coming in from left, right, and centre. “Hey Ladies, can I get you something?” “Now, why is a girl looking like you here all alone tonight?” My friends were kind of digging the attention, but I was really uncomfortable.
Our guy friends came back and the sketchy entourage disappeared. The dance floor was pretty empty, so our friend group took it as an opportunity to whip out a few classic moves—shopping cart, walk the dog, robot, all the greats. People began moving away from the bar and started to dance. At first it was fun, a lot of jumping and singing along. Then, it got intimate. (RED FLAG #4: BEWARE OF OVERCROWDED, DRUNK SPACES!) As more people got on the floor and everyone was that much more intoxicated, there was a lot of close dancing and kissing and… well, poor decision making.
One of my girlfriends was there for the same reason I was—not a big partier, but wanted to see what all the hype was about. Another one of my girlfriends was there because she wanted to party hard and meet guys. So, she started dancing with a few guys and began drifting away from us. I mouthed to her “You okay?” and she shot me back a big smile.
My friends and I continued to goof around, but I was a little uncomfortable. The crowd had gotten really rowdy and my friend had been gone from the group for awhile; my guy friend and I decided to look for her. When we found her, she did not look happy. She was still dancing with the same guys, but instead of the confident look she had before, she looked panicked. (RED FLAG #5: BEWARE OF BEING ALONE!) She was squirming to get away, but the three guys kept holding on to her. My friend and I leaped into action and pulled her away. She was drunk and very shaken up, so we left the club and grabbed a cab immediately.
What if we hadn’t thought to go find her? What if she had left the club? What if we were too late? Thankfully, we’ll never have to know. I thought that my friend’s clubbing days were over for sure, but she was back out and drinking too much the next weekend. (RED FLAG #6: BEWARE OF YOURSELF!) Needless to say, I never went clubbing again. Not my cup of tea. Also, that friend and I didn’t stay friends for long. Our values were just too different.
In one night I encountered six red flags, but there are many more. So, watch your alcohol consumption and listen to that feeling in the pit of your stomach. You may end up saving yourself, or your friend.