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Harvard University Students offers 8 tips for party-going peers

Earlier this month, Harvard University's Drug & Alcohol Peer Advisors (DAPAs), which is made up of "a select group of student-leaders who have been trained to educate their peers on alcohol and other drug issues at Harvard University," wrote a list-blog offering student "8 Tips to be More Party Savvy this Fall." Did you have a chance to read it? If not, have no fear -- we've got it right here:

I think we’ve finally come to realize that summer isn’t endless and that the fall semester is already back in full swing. This year brings a slew of changes: seniors are gearing up to go out with a bang, juniors are finally finding their place, sophomores now know where Leverett is but are still struggling to find Winthrop, and freshman actually don't even know what Winthrop is yet... Regardless, DAPA wants to give you 8 tips to help you tackle your social life like the DAPA, number 99 himself.

  1. Count your drinks. It can be hard for someone to reach their optimal buzz if they aren’t tracking their drinks and don't know how many they've had. To avoid any confusion, using a drink tracking app like IntelliDrink or R-U-Buzzed? to keep track of hours spent drinking, estimated BAC and drinks consumed. These apps can even enable you to track your friends' profiles and keep tabs on them while out. We know, Selena, technology is amazing!
  2. Make a plan & set your limits. Before going out, its always great idea to map out the party location, set a designated buddy, and most importantly set a drinking limit for the night. Have a friend to keep you accountable and keep you in check. No one needs a yes man, find someone who can keep it real when they have to and just say no.
  3. DAPA Pro Tip: Use your playlist to keep an optimal buzz. Keeping track of one standard drink an hour can be tricky when getting your shmoney dance on, on the dance floor. Before the night begins, one great tip is to make a playlist and keep track of the song that plays on the hour so you have a guaranteed marker of when to check your pace & how many drinks you've had.
  4. Have substantial food at pregames. Is an explanation really needed? Everyone loves snacks, EVERYONE! Apply for a DAPA Grant to get funding for substantial food at all of your registered, on campus parties with or without alcohol!* Also take advantage of all of the awesome DAPA deals while out, like food truck in the quad or deals with river restaurants like Bolocco to help the slowing of absorption of alcohol during the night. And honestly, all food tastes better when you get a deal on it. *No freshman registered parties can have alcohol
  5. Look out for your friends. It can be hard to keep an eye out for roommates/ friends/ blockmates and fellow Harvard students while checking out that foxy fellow/lady across the room, but DO IT. It’s better to be on the safe side and take your friends home early or even to UHS, rather than be sorry for letting a situation get out of hand. Also take advantage of the HUPDs Campus Escort Program so you can have a student walk you or a friend home!
  6. Alternate. Solo cups may not be a great tool for measuring standard drinks, but they are perfect for stealthy alternating. While your friends are guzzling beer and jungle juice, no one needs to know that you're sipping on water. Alternate loud and proud, but also know that what’s in your cup is your decision. And as Britney would say, telling people is your prerogative.
  7. Switch things up. On a campus like Harvard, you can bet there are hundreds of things to do every weekend if you choose not to go and party. Spark your inner Hipster and check out DAPA’s This Weekend calendar to have a one click guide to all of the fun event happening on campus and around Boston. You might even find cool groupons for places like Skyzone or ~trendy~ restaurants in the square.
  8. DAPA Pro Tip: DO YOU! Your social life and the decisions you chose to make are exactly that, YOURS! While DAPA does not condemn or condone drinking, we do advocate individuality. Yes, the fall can come with pressure to do things you may not be comfortable with, but know your intentions, limits and what’s right for you and sticking to them will guarantee an amazing time. Yes, heath, all the snaps!


Drug & Alcohol Peer Advisors (DAPAs) are a select group of student-leaders who have been trained to educate their peers on alcohol and other drug issues at Harvard University. DAPAs are role models, educators, resources to their peers, and ambassadors for the Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Services (AODS). DAPAs accomplish this mission through educational and social events, promotional products and messaging, party grants, and community partnerships.

*The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility ( or any 

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