It’s Friday or Saturday night; you’ve gotten your work done, and now you want to go out and celebrate with no particular end time in mind. There’s nothing wrong with going with the flow of the night, but sometimes it’s best not to stay out until 4 a.m. and risk a bad morning the next day. Whether it’s a club night or a frat party, look out for some tell-tale signs that it might be time to leave — and know that it’s always okay to put yourself first and get that ride home.

You’re bored

It happens. Even if you’re surrounded by friends and feel like you have no reason to be down, it’s okay to find that you’re just bored and want an out from the party. If you feel like you’re forcing yourself to stay to see if your mood will improve, try something else instead — like an Uber or Lyft to Pizza Classics or an early night in with a movie playing. There will be good parties and there will be bad parties during your time in college, and it’s not your responsibility to try and make every night an amazing one. Self-care beats boredom, so don’t hesitate to call it a night if you find yourself wishing you were anywhere but at that party.

“Am I the only one here?”

It’s never not awkward to walk into a party only to find that there’s barely anyone else there. Sometimes more people come, sometimes they don’t. This often leaves you feeling bad for taking off as well and leaving the party even worse off or uncomfortable because you have nobody to talk to and an atmosphere that you feel like you don’t fit in. The truth is that if you expected a party with a lot more people and aren’t going to feel comfortable staying there otherwise, you’re well within your rights to leave. You don’t owe anyone anything!

You’re too drunk

It’s a double-edged sword, seeing as it’s easy to think you’re less intoxicated than you really are, but there are warning signs that you may have pushed your luck with drinking. If you start to feel bloated, nauseous or are throwing up repeatedly, those are all things you’d much rather be doing at home than in the back of a fraternity house while people are pummeling knocks on the bathroom door. If you’re at all sick, grab some water, a ride home and tuck yourself into bed — you’ll thank yourself for it in the morning. Your own personal space provides a comfort that the bushes outside of a fraternity house just don’t.

Someone else is too drunk

It’s good to go home if you feel like you might be too drunk or if others have expressed concern about your well-being. Just as important is making sure you know when your friends have had too much to drink. You may notice a friend who doesn’t look like they’re well, is near ready to pass out on the couch for the rest of the night or has had one too many cups pass through their hands. Do them the favor of caring enough to take them home.

Find a designated driver that can get them home safe. Better yet — head back with them. In the same vein of care, never let them get into
an Uber alone. If your friend is too drunk, they may not have the capacity to get home safe when the Uber lets them out, no matter how short you think the distance is. Be there for someone just as you’d want them to be there for you after one too many drinks.

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