Monday, June 6, 2022 6 tips for having a great summer
Now’s the time to enjoy warm weather, time outside, and new experiences, whether that be through summer jobs, internships, travel or reconnecting with friends. In the midst of summer fun, don’t forget to keep yourself safe. Follow these six tips to have a great time.
1) Hydrate often
If you’ll be spending time doing outdoor activities such as boating, hiking, or camping it is especially important to have lots of drinking water with you. And if you choose to drink alcohol, balancing with water is essential. Alcohol is a diuretic, so it is easy to become dehydrated. This is especially true if you are spending time outside in the sun and sweating. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking water before and while drinking alcohol. Try switching between alcoholic and non-alcohol beverages. You may find it helpful to bring Gatorade or a similar hydration booster with you.
2) Prevent heat exposure
Before going outside, check the heat advisory for the day. Limit time outdoors during extreme temperatures. If you feel overheated, weak or dizzy, get to a cooler area immediately.
3) Be aware of your surroundings
If you are anticipating drinking enough that you would not drive home, you should also avoid potentially dangerous situations such as pools, open water, rooftops and fire pits. Alcohol impacts your motor skills, balance, and decision making. When both your balance and decision making are impaired, these fun recreation areas can quickly turn hazardous. No one wants to end the night with a chipped tooth, concussion or worse.
4) Be responsible around the water
You should always swim with at least one buddy; and avoid drinking alcohol before and during water activities. For the same reasons drinking and driving is incredibly dangerous, drinking and boating is perhaps even more so. It requires significant concentration to take a boat in and out of the water and to navigate trailers, ramps, buoys, and more. The slippery decks and movement on a boat can add to the effects of alcohol-induced imbalance. Depending on the location of the boat, it can be difficult to get help in the event of an emergency.
Did you know? Nebraska has BUI laws – Boating Under the Influence. Similar to driving, it is illegal to operate a motorboat in Nebraska with a BAC of .08 or more. If you plan to drink while boating, appoint a “Designated Boater” for the day.
5) Be cautious if using marijuana
If you're traveling to a state which has legalized marijuana, approach it with the same caution you use with alcohol. If you are not a regular marijuana user, be sure to research how marijuana may affect you. (80% of students at Nebraska have not typically used marijuana in the past three months.1) Don’t be afraid of asking questions to the budtenders at dispensaries and letting them know you are new to marijuana use; they are there to help you. Keep in mind that just like alcohol, marijuana impacts everyone differently and the way you consume it (smoking, edibles, tinctures, etc.) will also play a role in how it affects you. Do not drive after using marijuana. You can learn more about responsible marijuana use from Colorado’s Meg the Budtender. Last, remember that possession of marijuana and concentrated THC are against the law in Nebraska, so don’t plan on bringing home souvenirs.
6) Make plans to get home safely
If you’re traveling or out with friends, make sure you have a plan on how to get home safely after a night out. If you plan to walk, make sure you don’t drink so much that it will be unsafe for you to walk back to your hotel, AirBNB or home. If you plan to Uber or a taxi, make sure you’ll be able to tell the driver where to go. It may be helpful to have the address in your phone or on a piece of paper you can show the driver, especially if there is a language barrier.
BONUS Tip: Try an alcohol-free option
To prevent feeling tired and dehydrated, opt for a fun, alcohol-free beverage option. If you’re on TikTok, you may have seen the viral Utah soda recipes. Try one for yourself!
- 12 oz diet coke (1 can)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut creamer
- Lime juice from half a lime
If you or someone you know has an alcohol problem, help is available. Start with a screening.
1 Data from the American College Health Assessment, 2019