Ask Emma: having fun and staying safe

Emma has some extra tips for this semester’s special edition.



Emma gives special tips for this week’s special edition.

ANNA MICHALSON, Evergreen reporter

For this special edition, I’d like to do something a little different. Life is scary, and it can be hard, and that’s why I’m going to give you some tips to go about your fun, college-filled life in a safe way. 

Sex. Let’s talk about it. It’s something that, like it or not, is a huge part of the collegiate culture. That being said, it is naive to think people will not engage in it. Here are some ways you can keep yourself safe: 

  • ALWAYS ask for consent. This goes both ways. Setting clear boundaries, and getting a verbal “yes” is extremely important. Saying no can look different for many different people, so if you do not get a clear answer, assume it is no. 
  • Get tested regularly. Getting tested for STDs regularly is something that needs to be normalized and openly talked about. Ask your partner(s) if they have been tested recently. If not, offer to go get tested together! It can be a good way to ease the tension and stigma around it. 
  • Check-in with yourself. Knowing yourself, your body, and your limits are so important. Self-love is the best love, so make sure you are being kind to yourself, always. 

Drugs. Another subject that is prevalent at this age. Bare with me here, some people like to dabble in them for fun, some may have a medical reason to do them and some may have a dependency on them. Whatever your situation may be, it’s important to stay as safe as possible, especially now. 

  • Make sure you are in the right frame of mind to do so. Mindset is important, and although I am not well-versed in the realm of drugs, I know from many friends that if you are not in the right headspace, experimenting with drugs can have detrimental mental health consequences. 
  • Don’t do them alone. If you are going to dabble, make sure you are doing so in a safe and controlled environment, amongst people you trust, and who can take care of you.
  • Educate yourself on the possible risks and side effects of the said drug(s). It’s important to know how your body can and will react to things, especially if you are on medications, as mixing things can be dangerous.
  • Don’t succumb to peer pressure. The decision should be yours, and yours alone to make. If you feel uncomfortable, or unsafe, it is okay to say no and put up boundaries for yourself. That is how you keep yourself safe. 

Music. Now, you may be wondering, how does this all tie in together? Well, music is an extremely powerful force and can affect your mood in many different ways. As we are in our rock and roll special edition, it makes sense to talk about this genre of music. Some people listen to it to relax, some people listen to it to get hyped up, and many other ways too. Whether you are a long-time rock and roll fan or testing out the genre for the first time, here are some things to keep in mind. 

  • It is an acquired taste. Some people love it, and some people hate it. In my own personal experience, I found that the best way to get into it is by listening to it in a high-energy setting. For me, this is usually at the gym, or when I’m feeling frustrated. Loud guitar and heavy rhythmic pieces are great songs to listen to when doing these activities or feeling like you need to get some energy out. 
  • Some of the subject matter may be a little offensive, or dated, depending on how old the songs are. Keep this in mind when you listen. This is a common theme across all genres of music, but some rock and roll songs can be a bit violent. If this makes you uncomfortable, I suggest finding another genre to explore.
  • Keep an open mind. Expanding your music taste can be fun and exciting! Try to be open, and listen to songs and suggestions from people who you would describe as having a different music taste from yourself. Parents are a good place to start with this. 

I am not an expert by any means, so take my tips with a grain of salt. However, I hope these tips have helped you all in some way. It is always good to remind ourselves of how to stay safe and accountable in this fast-paced life. 

Good luck,