Whether you’re a fresher or in final year, a new year in Exeter always provides an excuse to celebrate. But surrounding all the fun and booze you’re bound to have, the issue, whilst on socials or with friends, is safety. Here in Exeter, crime rates are incredibly low in comparison to other university cities, but statistics are no safety net when it comes to walking home at 3am in the morning when you’re most likely off your face. At the end of the day, you don’t want to ruin a great night out by doing something stupid, so here are a few top tips to staying safe whilst out and about in Exeter.
Never walk home alone
walking home with a disgruntled pal is way better than a potential attack
We’ve all been there – you’re out with the squad and everyone seems to be having an amazing time… except you. You’re tired, your feet ache and all you want is to go home and watch the latest episode of GBBO. As you plan your escape route through the couples embracing to the wild dancers whose limbs are a-flailing, there’s only one problem: you’re alone. And that’s where the story ends, folks, because you don’t leave the pub, club or wherever you are. You grab a friend, even if they’re unwilling, because walking home with a disgruntled pal is way better than potential attack – or worse. This especially applies if your sober mind has disappeared. A drunken mind can be disorientated, lack judgement and even completely dismiss every sensible thing you know. Please don’t walk home alone if you can help it – two or more people are always going to be better than one.
Keep an eye on your valuables
Although this applies to both sober and drunk minds alike, I feel this is especially important when you’re under the influence. Whether you’re going hard at Cheesy’s or just having a pitcher of cocktails with friends at the Impy, bear in mind where your purse or wallet is, or any other valuables you may have brought with you. Those who tend to carry a bag, make sure you’re ware of its presence on your person. it’s so easy to pop your bag down for a second or for someone to slip it off your shoulder and vanish into the crowd. There’s nothing worse than losing money, cards or keys, so please be careful. Personally, I recommend leaving your most important cards at home because it’s always such a hassle to replace them and, let’s face it, it’s just annoying when you lose money. Poor student vibes and all that.
Keep an eye on your drink
An obvious point, I know, but whether you’re drinking lemonade or a VK, do not let anyone tamper with your drink. Chances are your friend is probably trying to steal a sip of your drink to enable them to continue their journey to a sugar high or drunken bliss, but you can never be 100 per cent sure. With drink spiking on the rise, make sure to keep your cup with you, even if it means having your drink featuring in your selfie so you don’t abandon your cup.
Wear sensible shoes
Now I know I sound like an elderly lady over here rooting for the orthopaedic shoe, but we live in Exeter, a place of many hills. Girls especially, heels are not going to do your feet any good as you stumble up the hill to bed after a night out. Regarding safety, when you’re tipsy and wobbling all over the place, you’re putting yourself at risk of injury I partly included this tip so others don’t have to experience what I went through a few months ago: wearing heels, getting stupidly drunk and ending the night in A&E with a sprained foot. Drunken heel incidents could lead to much worse of course, so although I’m not forbidding heels, do think about your poor feet while you’re enjoying the Exeter nightlife.