Drinking consciously

The legal drinking age in BC is 19, so you probably won’t be going out to bars or clubs much in first year. But whether you’re going out or are drinking at home or a party, here are some tips.


Don’t go overboard, particularly if you’re drinking for the first time. Test your limits slowly, and ideally, with other people in case something goes wrong.

Drink plenty of water both while you’re drinking and afterwards, since alcohol dehydrates you much faster.

Avoid drinking on an empty stomach, despite the temptation to get drunk faster. It’s a recipe for getting hungover, too!

If you’re of age, you might find it useful to set a budget before going to the bar. Drinks are expensive, so if you’re conscious of how many shots you’re buying, it might help you think about how much you’re actually drinking. It will also help you think twice before getting another drink as soon as you finish your last one. And, setting a drink budget can make you slow down while drinking, giving you time to sit, stand and/or dance.

One easy way to set and follow a budget for the bar is to bring a small amount of cash so you’re less likely to mindlessly tap your card over and over again. That said, you should bring your credit card or a second piece of ID with you since BC requires two pieces to buy alcohol.


Roofies, also known as date rape drugs, can incapacitate someone by causing extreme drowsiness and blackouts. They can be put surreptitiously into drinks, so it’s important to safeguard yourself against them.

Going out with friends is always safer, as you have someone there to notice if you start acting off and get you home safely if you need it.

Don’t leave your drink out unattended. If you have to, then make sure it’s with someone you trust! Be careful about taking drinks from strangers at parties, in particular ones you didn’t watch someone make.


Driving drunk is both illegal and dangerous for yourself and others on the road. There are always other options to get home, but it helps to plan in advance.

This could mean assigning a designated driver among your friends, ensuring you have access to public transit, downloading the Uber app or saving the phone number to call a taxi when you’re ready to go home.