We have all heard the phrase “college is the best four years of your life.” As a young adolescent, you venture out into the world on your own, finding yourself and making as many new memories as possible. Or not, depending on how many times you decide to drink to unconsciousness. You might find yourself hours later in some stranger’s room with no memory or recollection whatsoever. Black outs are quite common in college and might be thrilling at first, but at the same time scary and dangerous. Here are 10 tips on how to not black out in order to avoid any perilous situations that might occur.
1. Eat before drinking.
Have a meal before pregaming. Do not skip out on dinner because you want to look good in that outfit later. Without food, alcohol goes straight to the bloodstream, affecting your brain almost instantly. It will go straight to your head, potentially causing you to be sick. You will also be hungry after most places close, forcing you to eat greasy, unhealthy foods at an inconvenient hour. Eat your dinner beforehand when there are healthier options to choose from and increase your chances of remembering the night.
2. Keep track of how many drinks you’ve already had.
I know this sounds lame, but ten drinks can pass through your body without any realization. You’re out for the weekend and winding down with friends…the last thing on your mind is how much you have already had to drink. Nonetheless, if you’re concerned about how to not black out, you should reconsider your consumption before getting any more.
3. Avoid taking shots.
Straight alcohol is your enemy. It tastes horrible and feels like fire going down your throat. When the shots start to taste okay, that should be a giant red flag. These tiny glasses may not seem like a lot, but believe me, they are. The straight liquor mixes with your blood stream a lot quicker than diluted mixed drinks or less potent beers. Wondering how to not black out? Stay away from shots.
4. Move away from the tub of jungle juice, too.
Is this even alcohol? It tastes more like juice. Do not become the person that sits by the jungle juice bin to refill your cup like it’s your best friend. There is a ton of alcohol in jungle juice and you will end up not being able to walk back to your dorm or apartment after drinking most of the tub.
5. Don’t mix alcohol with drugs.
Over-the-counter drugs. Prescription drugs. Illegal drugs. It doesn’t matter what type of drugs…if you’re trying to figure out how to not black out, just don’t do it. Mixing drugs with alcohol is just a near death experience waiting to happen.
6. Take a break.
Excuse yourself to the bathroom or get some fresh air outside. This allows you to get away from the crowd and focus more on how you are feeling. Do you look in the mirror and see a hot mess? Is everything spinning? Can you not feel your face like The Weeknd? Go home. If you go back and continue to drink, you will NOT remember the rest of the night, guaranteed.
7. Slow down.
Ten drinks in less than hour will cause you to hit the floor fast. There is no need to drink so much in so little time. Alcohol is not going anywhere. Settle down, move around, and find people to talk to instead of just focusing on getting drunk.
8. Drink water.
Alcohol is a depressant and diuretic that dehydrates you. Severe dehydration can result in death. Water can help slow down the “getting drunk” process, and thus help to avoid a black out. Drinking lots of water can also help with that hangover in the morning. Drink as much water as you can before, after, and while you are drinking.
9. Release yourself from a routine.
Go to a new town or city. Explore different areas. Hang out with different people. College students seem to get into a rut every weekend so they drink way too much just to have a good time. If you’re having a good time without alcohol, you won’t think about getting wasted.
10. Dismiss social pressure.
Social pressures from fellow colleagues can be hard to ignore, especially if you’re a freshman trying to fit in. You want to be a part of the “cool” circle of students. News flash: getting black out doesn’t necessarily make you cool. Don’t base your friendships around partying – friendships formed around getting hammered are shallow and will have no meaning in the long run. You don’t have to drink and party to fit in. There will be other students who aren’t interested either. Find a good group of friends to share your college years with.
You probably knew about some of these tips before, but if you haven’t, I hope you take them into consideration the next time you decide to go out. After you finish college, it’s no longer acceptable to black out on a weekly basis. This just makes you an irresponsible alcoholic and no matter how many social media posts glorify alcoholism, in reality it’s a serious problem.
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Shereen Fustok graduated from the University of Miami in 2015. She is currently looking to pursue a master’s program in New York City. When she is not busy with life, Shereen enjoys learning about different cultures, fashion, yoga, and exploring her creative side with writing and art.