Yasmin Sara studies International Political Economy and Communications at Fordham…
Part of the college experience is letting loose and having fun – and more often than not, this involves alcohol. Going out is a nice way to unwind after a long week, and if you have been working hard, you deserve to enjoy yourself. But college students tend to push the limits with binge drinking. A fun night out can quickly turn dangerous, even deadly, if there are no boundaries…which is why you should understand your tolerance to alcohol.
A typical routine is to pre-game in the dorm and then head out to a bar, club, or party until the night ends. The environment encourages everyone to drink as much as possible. However, every individual has their own limits. It can be especially hard to sense when you have hit your limit when everyone around you is still going strong. Sometimes we end up crossing our own boundary without realizing it, and then it becomes much harder to get ourselves under control. So how can we tell when this line has been crossed?
1. Analyze your behavior.
There is a difference between letting loose and losing control. If you are invading people’s personal space, asking inappropriate questions, not controlling your bodily functions, blurting things out that you know you should not be saying, you may have crossed your alcohol tolerance line. You may be struggling with the simplest tasks, like walking or opening a door, getting angry, dramatic, or emotional at the slightest provocation, or even having trouble comprehending your surroundings and unable to properly articulate your thoughts. These behaviors are signs that your mind is losing control of your body. If you start feeling like your body is acting on its own, it is a sign to slow down. Try to find some food or water if possible.
There are also physical signs that you have passed your drinking limit. These are far more dangerous, because they can be signs of alcohol poisoning. The most obvious sign is vomiting. In extreme circumstances, one may pass out or experience seizures. Other symptoms are harder to see, such as labored breathing, being conscious but unresponsive, pale skin, and hypothermia. If you or your friends have gotten to this point then not only should you stop drinking, you should seek medical attention.
3. Once you understand your limits, respect them.
The most important thing to remember when trying to manage your tolerance to alcohol is that everybody as their own, and it isn’t always the same every night. Your tolerance to alcohol is dependent on many factors, including height, weight, every day eating patterns, what you eat before drinking, and the type of alcohol you drink throughout the night. Sometimes it is “cool” to hold your liquor, and it can become a dangerous habit to test your limits. Your limit is your limit, and you and others should respect that. Never feel like you have to partake in any drinking that you don’t feel comfortable with, whether amount, kind or a drinking activity.
To avoid messy mishaps, be prepared before you go out: make sure that you are properly nourished and hydrated before consuming alcohol, surround yourself with a solid group of friends, and be aware of your body. If you know you have hit your limit, do not succumb to peer pressure. You know yourself better than anyone else.
Yasmin Sara studies International Political Economy and Communications at Fordham University. She loves to geek out about comics, TV shows, and tattoos. She blogs about news, politics, health, and occasionally dabbles in creative writing at modernmuckraking.wordpress.com. You can also follow her at batglare.tumblr.com.