As most of us know, Mardi Gras, a long-anticipated holiday, is beginning to unfold. For Tulane students, spring/Mardi Gras break is a memorable and unique experience. However, among all the festivities, many students can forget to put their well-being first, and many students, myself included, can be quite daunted by the thought of five days of nonstop partying. Here are a few things to keep in mind that’ll help you take care of yourself while celebrating.
As with any major festival or city-wide event, safety hazards are everywhere. Make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself out of harm’s way. Be mindful of your surroundings and the people around you, only take what you really need, and avoid aggravating law enforcement—it will not end well. Inevitably, some people may try to take advantage of you and your friends, or get upset when they think you are taking their spot. Be aware of as much as possible around you so that you can avoid ending up in sticky situations and you should be good.
Strength in Numbers
Don’t go through Mardi Gras alone. Besides the fact that it’s just more fun with friends, make sure you have a group for the day that you can trust to not abandon you when the going gets tough. Make sure you have a go-to buddy, and don’t forget to write down someone’s number on your arm so that you can borrow a phone from somebody if yours dies. Since tensions can run a little higher this time of year, this is also a really great way to make sure that you’re staying safe and secure, both on and off campus.
Know Your Limits
By this point, most of us know what we do and don’t feel comfortable with. Mardi Gras is hardly an ideal time to push your limits, in every sense of the word. We’ve all heard the old adage, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Take it to heart. You want to be able to enjoy as much of Mardi Gras as you can, and many people will want to stick around for parades the whole day on top of parties, so know what your plans are and behave accordingly. Taking this one step further, make sure you don’t do anything you don’t feel ready or comfortable doing, from going out when you’re feeling sick and need a day to rest to interacting with people you feel unsafe with.
Make sure that you have everything you need at the start of the day. Snacks, water, a portable charger, some cash, a light backpack or fanny pack, as well as some friends’ phone numbers written down are all essentials. Traffic is slow and New Orleans is significantly more crowded during this time, so getting help or restocking your supplies is easier said than done. Preparing ahead of time will save you a lot of stress in the long run, even if it seems tedious to lay out everything you need before.
Make the Most of It
Mardi Gras is a once-in-a-year event, and for many students, a foreign and special event that will go down in our memories forever. Make sure you are doing everything you can to have fun and enjoy this special holiday. We go to school in New Orleans, so you might as well make the most of it.
COVER PHOTO: Trip Advisor