You’ve finished school and enjoyed three months of not having to pick up a text book. You’ve worked a part time job, taken on the city and now you’re ready to start the next chapter …
There are a few things you might want to know before you head to O-Week and the adventures of university life.
O-Week is jam-packed, full of activities, parties and people. You’ll meet lots of people and make loads of new friends. Who knows, you might even hook-up with someone you meet.
But before you take things further, make sure you’re ready. And if you are, spare a thought about safe sex if the moment arises!
Most people don’t realise but 1 in 5 young Australians will have a STI in their lifetime.
Yes, STIs are that common. They don’t discriminate, they often don’t have any symptoms, and you can’t tell if someone is infected by looks alone.
The only way to know for sure is to get tested.
In fact, if you’re sexually active it’s a good idea to have regular sexual health check-ups.
With STIs, there are lots of different types. But you’ll be pleased to know that most are curable and ALL are treatable.
How does one get an STI, I hear you ask?
Well, STIs can be transferred through skin-to-skin contact and/or the exchange of sexual fluids (such as semen and vaginal fluid). So it’s really easy to take steps to prevent getting one:
Always use a condom when having vaginal or anal sex. Condoms or dams can also be used during oral sex.
And remember that condoms are your best form of protection against STIs, so be prepared, be ready and have fun!
You’re going to meet tons of new people whilst at uni. You may even have sex with some of them.
Don’t forget that relationships should always be based around trust, communication and respect for yourself and the other person. While it can be a challenging topic to navigate, consent is a crucial part of any successful sexual relationship.
It’s also really important to get that enthusiastic ‘yes’ before any sexual activity, whether you’re hanging out with a longer term partner or hooking up with a new one.
This doesn’t always come in a verbal, or spoken manner. It can be seen through body language and actions too. But once you and your partner have established consent, you’re ready to go!
Remember though, just because you and your partner have said ‘yes’ to kissing or oral sex, it doesn’t mean you’ve agreed to other types of sex.
You both still need to provide consent before any new sexual activity.
It’s important to remember that consent can be taken away at any time.
You and your partner have a responsibility to respect each other’s decisions and stop immediately if someone changes their mind.
O-Week is a week of partying and dancing. And the socialising will continue beyond that first week.
There may even be alcohol or drugs available. Parties can be really fun but if you’re going to drink, it’s important to know your limits.
Drugs and alcohol can affect your judgement and can make it really difficult to think clearly and make good decisions about all kinds of things including sex.
Someone who is too drunk or high to know what’s going on cannot give consent.
It’s OK to say no to sex too, especially if you feel uncomfortable or if you or your partner have had too much to drink.
Look out for your friends and other students. If you see someone struggling or in a difficult situation, help them out, take them home or to someone they trust.
University is the beginning of a new and exciting part of your life. While it may have its challenges, ultimately it should be a fun and safe environment for everyone.