I know we all like to think we’re experts at getting wasted, and to an extent, maybe we are. But maybe we’re also a little too good at getting drunk. Maybe you’re that friend who says, “I’m just going to have two drinks, I have to wake up early tomorrow,” and then you wake up with a pounding headache and in a strange place and have no recollection of what happened the night before. You text your friends to try and figure out WTF happened last night and one of them is seriously pissed at you because you said something bitchy and then you threw up on her dress. You also called your ex about fifteen times and you even had a six minute long conversation with him. To top it all off, you lost your debit card for about the millionth time. Great.
Regret sinks in. “How did I get so drunk last night? I thought I was fine,” you tell yourself.
It happens, and I get it. Don’t feel bad. You’re in college and the drinks are free or cheap. By all means, party on, because you don’t want to leave after four years and regret the things you didn’t do. But if you want to stop making a fool of yourself on the reg, there is a way you can do that while still getting drunk, having fun, and remembering it all at the end of the night.
1. Eat Dinner
This is probably the most obvious piece of advice, but it’s also the most ignored. You need to eat before you drink. Period. End of story. Some (stupid) people say it’s better to drink on an empty stomach so the alcohol hits you faster, but they also forget to mention that it hits you harder. Like, way harder. If you blackout all the time and you don’t eat dinner, this might the reason why. Eat a piece of bread, an egg, a frozen burrito, anything before you go out.
You know what sucks? Throwing up after a long night of drinking. You know what sucks more? Kneeling over the toilet dry heaving because there’s nothing in your stomach to expel. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.
2. Drink Water
I know, this is the lamest advice ever. It’s stupid and it’s annoying because who wants to go pee all the time, but trust me. It works. Drinking a glass of water between every drink you have is the best way to get to that perfect level of drunk. For starters, you’ll almost always wake up hangover-free. Seriously. Say goodbye forever to those painful headaches, because water works miracles when it comes to hangovers.
It also gives you time between drinks for you and your body to realize, hey, you’re kind of feeling it right now. As you probably know, alcohol takes a while to enter the bloodstream, so by the time you’re on drink four, your body is just now feeling the effects of drink two or three. This is the reason so many people always say, “I thought I was fine and then before I knew it I blacked out.” If you really can’t be bothered to drink one glass of water per drink, just do it every other drink.
3. Slow. The. Eff. Down.
The most obvious sign that someone is a freshman is if they’re chugging down drinks like their mom might walk into the bar and catch them any second. No one does this past the age of nineteen because we’ve all learned how completely idiotic it is. Stop drinking so fast. It’s fun and maybe you look “cool” by downing a vodka cranberry in three sips but you’re not going to feel so cool when you’re puking in an alley at 10:30 p.m. when everyone else is just now hitting the tipsy stage of drinking. Chill.
If you have trouble pacing yourself, pick out one of your friends who never blacks out and always drinks responsibly and only drink when she drinks. Don’t follow her around like a puppy and wait for her to take a sip, but if her glass is only half empty after thirty minutes, yours should be too.
Also, if you’re day drinking or you start drinking at 7 p.m. when you aren’t even leaving to go to the bars until 10 p.m., take your time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
4. Stop Taking Shots
If you follow all of the advice above and are still blacking out way more often than not, maybe it’s time reevaluate your drinking strategy. Order the same drink at every bar instead of mixing it up by getting a gin and tonic at one place and a red bull and vodka at another. Try to stick to ordering drinks instead of shots. I know, it kind of sucks when some guy with his dad’s credit card wants to buy a round for you and your friends, but try and resist. You’ll be able to keep track of your drinks more carefully and with that in mind, on to the next step.
5. Know Your Limits
Do a little experiment with yourself. Go out one night and only have three (of the same) drinks. Switch to water after that and note how your feel. Are you tipsy? If you feel nothing, go up to four the next night. Again, stop at four, and then switch to water. Keep a log of how you feel throughout and at the end of each night. Once you find your sweet spot and you know the right number of drinks that gets your the perfect amount of drunk, you’ve basically unlocked the secret of college.
It’s tempting to just go balls to the wall every time you go out. Sometimes, nights like that end up as some of the best stories. Other times, you lose a friend or your boyfriend gets mad at you or you make a fool of yourself in front of everyone. By following these five tips, you can still get drunk, and you can still make amazing memories, only you’ll remember all of them.
Party on, my friends. .