When I started college, I had never been to a party where there were drugs or alcohol. Within the first week, I was rolling a keg down three flights of stairs and watching a friend get it on with a fraternity president while standing in three feet of dish soap bubbles at a "foam party." I wish I could say these were the dumbest things my friends and I did, but that would be a big lie.
We obviously weren't alone. A new survey of college freshmen from MomLogic.com found that 26% have passed out from drinking too much and 32% have hooked up or had sex with someone they regret. 13% have woken up somewhere and not known how they got there. That's terrifying -- and sadly, not surprising.
Girls have to be extra careful at college. No parents or curfews -- and lots of boys and booze -- will, without a doubt, lead to some mistakes. But following the Smart Girl's Guide will help make sure your worst one is leaving your flip flops in a cow patty:
Safeguard Your Va-jay-jay. If you're having sex, you've got to protect yourself. Many college health centers offer students discounts on birth control, so make an appointment and check out your options. Also, pick up the free condoms most health centers give out -- it's not 1955, so you're just as responsible for the rubber as he is. No one wants to go home for Thanksgiving break with an STD.
Don't Do the "Pull and Pray." Be prepared for the unexpected -- those (rare but probably inevitable) times the condom slips off or never makes it on in the first place. Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping the stork passes you by, pick up a pack of Plan B® One-Step, A.K.A emergency contraception -- now available in just one little pill that can prevent pregnancy when taken within three days following unprotected sex. You don't even need a prescription if you're over 17 (visit the pharmacy counter, show ID -- that's it!) Consider getting an extra pack to keep on-hand in your room. Emergency contraception is a college staple, like beer and Ramen noodles, that a Smart Girl should never be without.
Two words: Cock Block. Exactly what it sounds like: a friendly human shield between your vagina (or whatever) and sweaty jock boy's penis. Every Smart Girl will both need and serve as a cock block at some point during her college career. A CB is responsible for making sure her drunk friend isn't making her way upstairs with the creeper in the corner and that all the girls who arrived together, leave together -- without any hangers on.
Smart Girl 2.0. Facebook, like coffee, is an essential of college life. How else can you find that guy whose buddies dragged him off to play beer pong just as you were getting somewhere? But, as you probably know, it's also the perfect stalking tool, and not in a good way. Keep your status updates vague or risk having that overeager boy from biology "randomly" end up at the same party as you, with flowers and a marriage proposal. Take steps to make sure you're not the next YouTube sensation. Think twice before doing that striptease on the bar -- phones aren't just for drunk texting anymore!
Avoid the Roofie ... and the Pee. You've heard it before but, seriously ladies, watch your drink. Make sure it comes directly from the bartender's hand and never leaves your sight. Date rape drugs work quickly and are frighteningly prevalent on college campuses. Beware the trash can punch. I mean, really, let's think this one out: it's in a trash can. If that isn't enough, remember it's meant to get you as drunk as possible, so brew master frat boy used a lot of Everclear (read: 95% proof alcohol). And, as the party goes on, the likelihood that someone has peed in it gets higher and higher. You've been warned.
Hook Up With Yourself. College is an amazing opportunity to figure out who you are as an adult woman, free of your parents and high school boyfriend. This can mean anything from taking up German or trying out fencing to changing your taste in partners. Make a pledge that if you choose to have sex, it will be good and good for you, physically and emotionally. Get a vibrator and your roommate's class schedule and find out what turns you on. Try abstinence for a while. Take a pole dancing class to find your inner erotic creature. Whatever feels right to you, go for it -- just be safe and true to you along the way.