8 things to know about drinking in university

At Dal, we care about the safety and well-being of every student. And that includes how you deal with alcohol and its effects whether you're on or off campus.

drinks Photo: Min An via Pexels

If you choose not to drink, that’s great! And if you do choose that’s fine too! But there are some things you need to be aware of — like how it could affect your health, relationships, studies and cash flow (yep, you could be fined big time).

Whether you're hanging out with friends at a party or hitting the town, you need to watch out for yourself and your mates! Keep it Social is a great resource about drinking safely. We've also got 8 great tips below.


1. Keep track

Set a limit (one that you know works for you) and keep track of how many drinks you've had. If you’re wondering about setting the bar, Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines suggest no more than four drinks at any one time for males and three for females

If you feel yourself getting out of control, take a break. Drink some water, have a snack, or get some fresh air. Spending a night sobering up in the drunk tank or being in the emergency room is not a great way to spend your time.


2. Don't accept gifts

If a complete stranger (or even someone outside your group of friends) offers you a drink, politely decline. It could be a harmless friendly gesture, but don't take the chance. Get your own drink so you know what (and how much) is in it.


3. Have a buddy

If you're at a party or somewhere downtown, stay in contact with your friends and touch base with them to make sure they’re OK. Don’t wander off alone, especially if you’re unfamiliar with your surroundings!


4. Stay hydrated

Keep drinking water throughout the night. Alternate every alcoholic beverage with water. Hopefully this will keep you from binge drinking—at the very least it should help you feel a bit better in the morning.


5. Eat food

If you’re going to drink, do it on a full stomach. Alcohol is absorbed faster into the blood if your stomach is empty, and can end your night sooner than planned. Keep in mind that while it's always good to eat something after drinking (hello, Pizza Corner!),  it's even more important to eat before and to continue eating while drinking.


6. Don't mix substances

Drinking alcohol and using cannabis are both legal in Canada, as long as you're 19 years of age or older. But just because you can use both of these substances, doesn't mean you should use them both at once. Combining alcohol or other drugs with cannabis will greatly increase your level of impairment and the risk of sickness, injury, or even death from accidents. Avoid the unnecessary risk.


7. Consent is mandatory

No matter who you're with, being drunk is not an excuse for unacceptable behaviour. Anything but a solid yes is a solid no. If you’re still confused, check out this informative tea analogy...

You should also check out Catherine's article about consent.


8. Have a plan

Knowing what time to meet your friends at the bar is important, but so is planning a safe way home – whether it’s grabbing a cab, walking in a group, having a designated driver or crashing on a friend’s couch.

If you're walking by yourself at night, click on Mobile BlueLight in the DalSafe app and use the Safe Walking Services. You can either use Friend Walk so friends can see your location and follow your progress, or Virtual Walkhome so Dal Security can follow your progress. In Truro, you can call 902-893-4190 and a security officer will walk you between campus buildings, thanks to the Safewalk Service.