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College Advice

Your First Time Drinking

DormEssentials July 11, 2019

Look, we can’t encourage underage drinking and we always encourage you follow the laws governing what you should do. However, the reality is that for many college campuses, especially when you’re living in the dorms, you’ll run into situations where you’ll encounter alcohol. There will also be alot of social pressure and expectation to partake in the ‘festivities’ and drink alongside your friends.  So if for whatever reason you find yourself with a plastic cup in your hand at a dorm party, house party, apartment, or at a frat party with s**t beer filled with calories, or a “punch” made with plastic handle vodka and red unidentifiable syrup for the first time, here’s what you should know your first time drinking.

The first time you drink, you’ll either get a little red in the face and have that placebo effect where you think you’re drunk and you let your guard down. You’ll probably feel off balance, and as if you’re vision has been slowed. You’ll also have to be careful of the ‘liquid confidence’ you’ve gained, making sure not to say or do things you’ll later regret. This includes taking shots down so fast thinking you’re the one person alcohol doesn’t effect only to end up in a full blown black out where you get taken to the hospital to get your stomach pumped because you and your friends were a the same seminar where you learned alcohol poisoning can kill you. To which, it can, but for the most part all of this (an a very hefty medical bill) can be avoided by pacing yourself- and that also means drinking alot of water!

The social pressure can be tough – so sometimes you just need to appear the part. At many parties, people will push you to drink if you have empty hands. Simply holding a red cup or bottle in your hand, regardless if you’re actively drinking, will help you pace yourself and keep the pressure off. And when the inevitable ‘handle pull’ gets your way – don’t overdo yourself either. You can block the bottle and pretend to be swallowing. The simplest but the hardest thing you’ll have to do is say ‘no’ when others pressure you to drink.

As you drink more through out life, you’ll learn your limits. While having your head in a toilet wishing it would just stop, is an unfortunate way to test trial and error, know that it happens to the best of us. The key to that episode is to have good friends sitting on the dirty dorm bathroom floor with you rubbing your back, holding your hair, or even just checking in with you as they bring you water. Since you won’t know your personal limits your first time, take it easy.

Know that the body is only able to metabolize and expel so much alcohol at a time, having too much in the blood stream that hasn’t been worked out via the kidney and liver is what gets you drunk. There are charts that explain how much you should have for your gender and weight so that you don’t get alcohol poisoning right out the gate. As a petite woman, I’m literally only supposed to have one and half legal amounts of alcohol. Legal counts are: one beer, one glass of wine, or one shot of liquor. These charts are great rules of thumbs to not become belligerent, but with alcohol lowering inhibitions and good judgment, it can be hard to stop yourself for having another. (And another, and another, and oh are we all having one more? I can do that!)

For your first time drinking, try to keep your pacing on the slower side, you don’t need to take every shot that the group will cheers to, and you don’t have to always have a full beer cup in hand. For your first time, my best advice is to let the alcohol affect you, and when it does ride out that wave until you feel sober again, wait a bit longer and then try again. There’s really no need to get black out drunk on your first time, or really any time, being just tipsy or drunk will be pretty fun on it’s own and will probably keep you from burning bridges with flamethrowers of trouble.

Finally, there’s the hangover. The first time you drink, you’ll probably feel miserable the next day due to the way the alcohol is processed in your system, and the dehydration and lack of nutrients you’ve experienced. The best way not to get one? Don’t drink that much! Not an option? Consider one of these hangover cures.

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