It’s that time again!
O-Week is just around the corner and you can’t decide whether to check out the parties and events on offer, or enjoy your last bit of freedom before the first semester slog hits.
Uni can be exciting, challenging and daunting… all at the same time! Which textbooks to buy? Who’s in this year’s classes? And most importantly, when am I ever going to find time to chill with friends?
Relax. Here are some tips to help you not just survive but thrive.
University life isn’t all parties and events you know. But they can be a big part of it! Of course you don’t have to go to them if you don’t want, however if you do, be prepared.
You might plan on just making an appearance, then end up partying all night. Who knows, you might end up hooking up with someone on the dance floor. But before things get too steamy, make sure you’re ready to have sex; and if you are, how to make it safe, enjoyable and fun!
STIs are common among young people.
Did you know 1 in 5 young Australians will have an STI in their lifetime? You can get them during sexual activities (oral, vaginal, anal) where there’s direct skin-to-skin contact and/or sexual fluids like semen or vaginal fluids getting exchanged.
STIs don’t discriminate.
Anyone engaging in unprotected sexual activity is at risk of getting an STI. This is why it’s best to use protection. And the best protection is condoms. So even if you think you are only going to be at that party for an hour – be prepared.
Get tested regularly if you are sexually active.
That way any infection you might have is detected and gets treated. After all, you want to keep on top of your sexual health.
Trust is a must
Relationships come in all different shapes and types. But all healthy relationships must have respect, trust and communication.
The thing is social pressures can surface at uni. And someone, a friend or somebody you have just met, might encourage you to do something that you’re not comfortable with. Tell them ‘no thanks’ and just don’t do it!
A healthy relationship is all about being able to feel comfortable with each other and having fun together. Open communication is a must!
Your partner can’t read your mind and you can’t read theirs. So always be open and honest, especially with things related to sex and your sexual health.
Consent is key
An enthusiastic ‘YES’ is essential when it comes to any sexual activity, whether you’re hanging out with a longer term partner or hooking up with a new one.
This doesn’t always have to come in a verbal or spoken manner. Consent can be given non-verbally as well, like through actively touching, kissing, hugging or responding to your touch and pulling you closer.
But remember, the only way to know for sure is to ask.
Don’t be afraid to get on the front-foot and talk to your partner about when, if and how they want to take things further!
Remember everyone has the right to say ‘NO’.
If one of you feels uncomfortable or doesn’t want things to progress, it’s ok to say “no”. Just because you and your partner are really into that kiss, doesn’t mean you’re DTF. Even if you’ve already stripped down to your birthday suit!
Everyone has a responsibility to respect each other’s decisions and stop immediately if someone changes their mind about having sex.
Uni and alcohol
NEVER leave your drink unattended. Simply chuck it out, grab a new one and continue enjoying your night! Drink spiking is real and can leave you vulnerable to sexual assault.
Keep tabs on how much and what you drink. And remember drugs and alcohol can affect your ability to consent and make decisions regarding safe sex. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or a little uncertain, it’s best to remove yourself from the situation and find somewhere where you feel safe and comfortable. Count on your friends and always look out for each other!
This year at uni is sure to be amazing!
OK except for the stress, hard work and lack of money.
Just remember to be prepared. And have a fun and safe year ahead!