Megan Roberts and the Potential Dangers of Nights Out
As students, we’ve all been there. Gone out, drunk that little bit too much, and ended up doing something we probably shouldn’t. Usually, I’m full of comical stories where that’s happened to me; in most situations, you might end up looking like an idiot, but nobody gets hurt. Except maybe your vanity gets dented a tad. It’s easy to sigh when, as students, we are constantly told to be careful; to “watch what we drink” and “stick together.” But the awful truth is that, unfortunately, sometimes drunken situations can go wrong. Very wrong.
As you’ve probably heard, 20 year old York student Megan Roberts went missing two weeks ago following a night out with her friends; a night like any other. Around 2:10am, her friends last saw her by the side of a river. And she has not been seen since. Following extensive investigations, the police have concluded the likely outcome is that, while drunk, she fell into the freezing cold water and was unable to get out again. They have spent the past week searching its depths, sadly concluding the chances of finding her alive are slim. Though this is not been confirmed yet, and a possibility exists that Megan is still out there somewhere safe and well, it does bring home to me just how badly a night out can go wrong.
As a former student, I’ve lost count of the times I got a little too intoxicated, which is why this story has hit home so much; you go out expecting to get drunk and have a good time. You never in a million years think you might never come home. And yet, as this tragic story may end up proving, that can happen. Hell, in my time at Uni I saw one friend get taken to A&E because he fell over hard on the dance floor. Last year, while on a night out in Bolton, I very nearly got hit by a speeding taxi myself; I was literally centimetres from it and my friends were actually just a little shocked how close it came to hitting me. While I didn’t think much of it at the time, now I can’t help feeling a bit horrified.
So, what can we do? After all, nobody wants to be told how to act on a night out; you’re there to unwind, to have fun. Despite this, it’s usually a good idea to make sure that only goes so far. It goes without saying that alcohol can do bad things to you. Your senses are dimmed, your mind works slower. You end up doing and saying things you might well not have done. But, possibly most importantly, you can even lose sight of where you are. To say you should know your limits would be an understatement here; if you’re feeling so out of it you have no idea what’s going on, take it as a sign it’s time to hit the water.
Busy cities at night are dangerous places. It’s easy to lose your way, easy to bump into someone you really don’t want to bump into. Megan got separated from her friends, and thus nobody even knew she was missing for 4 days. Sticking together would therefore seem to be paramount; keeping an eye on each other and making sure everyone is accounted for the most important thing.
A night out is a fun, exciting way to unwind, socialize, and just have a damn good evening. Most of the time, the night goes by without a hitch, and you are eager to repeat the experience when finance and liver cells allow. But a night out coupled with excessive drinking can also be risky, playing with your senses and leaving you more vulnerable when you feel the most invincible. What has happened to Megan has proven that sometimes, this can lead to the most tragic of outcomes.
Megan, a young student like so many others, was out for a fun time with her friends. We can only hope that she’s out there somewhere, safe, and I truly want nothing more than to read that she is. What her story can prove to us is that a night out can be just as dangerous as it can be fun. So get down to the pub and have a good time, but be careful. Spare a thought for Megan Roberts, and keep yourself safe.