How to Drink Responsibly: From an Alcoholic
Yeah, it’s something that’s talked about all over the place. You can google college and drinking and get thousands of articles about the dangers of binge drinking and how it’s detrimental to your health. I could tell you all about that, but it’s not going to matter.
Because it’s like smoking, or doing drugs, if someone wants to try it, they’re going to try it. And if someone really likes doing whatever it is they’re doing, then a silly little blog post won’t make a difference. I’m going to give you some pointers on what to do as a freshman on a college campus if you want to go out and party.
(Please note that I don’t condone underage drinking)
Go with Someone You Know and Trust
Why? Because if you’ve never drank before and you happen to go over board, it’s better to have someone you know and/or trust with you. They can prevent you from doing stupid things like:
- Drink so much you throw up
- Do something you regret, like have sex with a random
- Be taken advantage of by someone else there
- Pass out somewhere that’s not safe
Yeah, limiting isn’t fun, but if you’ve never drank before, or you’ve had a summer off from drinking, your tolerance is pretty close to zero. If you drink too much, you will end up doing one or more of the things listed above. Giving yourself a 1 or 2 drink limit can make sure you’re sober enough to still have fun and remember what happened.
Watch Your Drink Be Made or Make it Yourself
Why? Well, not everyone is super nice. Some people are literal douche bags and shouldn’t be allowed on the planet. Every college is different, but sexual assault and rape still happen. I was unaware of the things that happened on my campus until a friend spoke at a Vagina Monologues production. She was both assaulted and raped on campus. Be careful.
Have a Sober Friend
As a freshman with newfound abilities to do things without a parent’s watchful eye, it makes it a bit harder to find/have a friend that doesn’t drink or do drugs. But if you have one, see if they’re willing to come along. It makes the having a friend you know and/or trust much better, because they won’t be drunk themselves.
Related: Top Tips for staying safe if you plan to drink (PDF)
Remember Where You Live
This can be a problem with larger campuses. Hell, it becomes a problem when you drink enough to forget where you live. If someone has to drag your ass home, you/they need to know where to drag you. I crashed at a friend’s place once. She took a marker and wrote “Please return Steph to room number in building” It wasn’t the most flattering thing, especially since I didn’t get drunk that night, but it was a safety net in case I had. I also didn’t have to remember where she lived.
Rule Number 1 of drinking: drink things other than alcohol. And no, the coke you mixed your rum with doesn’t count. I could go on about the process your body goes through when dealing with alcohol, but the short version is:
Alcohol + Nothing Else= TERRIBLE HANGOVER
Alcohol + Water/Juice/ Soda= NOT THAT BAD OF A HANGOVER
Related: The 8 Types Of Hangovers You’ll Have After College
Remember your Keys/Phone
I once was hanging out with a guy friend and we went back to his dorm, but we were locked out because he remembered his weed but forgot his keys and phone. I had to pee so bad, but no one was answering the kicking and pounding we did on the floor doors. If you can get to your building, that’s great, but if you can’t get inside your room, it’s a pain in the ass.
Day After Care
After your breakfast, making sure you’re good to go should be a primary task. The first thing I always suggest for anyone hungover is to take a shower. There’s something incredibly cleansing (both physically and mentally) about washing away the night before.
Are you still tired? Take a nap. Headache? Pop some ibuprofen. Dehydrated? You better be chugging some water.
Related: The Hangover Cure: 6 Best Ways To Feel Like A Person Again, Backed By Research
I feel hangover breakfasts are necessary. Whether you get together with your fellow partiers at an apartment and make food, go off campus to a restaurant (not recommended, it gets expensive) or go to a campus dining hall (highly recommended. Terrible food is much better for hangovers). It’s a great way to talk about the stupid things you did or witnessed, see what happened after you left, and make sure everyone’s alive.
Have any other tips? Leave a comment below! Check me out on Twitter | Pinterest | Google+