Life 101

How Not To Drink: A Beginner's Guide to Alcohol

Drinking is like a sport. It takes absolutely no skill to do it badly and you’ll most likely end up making a show of yourself. Although I fully condone a few cold ones after a long hard day, drinking responsibly is a skill you’ll need to acquire pretty rapidly if you want to make it through the mystery tours, pub crawls and nights out of your college life.

1. Don’t Mix

If there is one thing that will keep your head from pounding on the way to 9am lectures the morning after it’s not mixing your drinks. Sure, you can get 4 cans for a fiver, a few jagerbombs for a tenner and a couple shots too but you’ll also end up making best friends with your toilet bowl. If mixing is unavoidable remember: Liquor before beer, all clear. Beer before liquor, makes you sicker.

2. Don’t drink above your weight

Like I said, drinking is like a sport and we all have our weight class; heavy-weight, welter-weight, light weight and the feather weights (I’m looking at you Smirnoff Ice). There is no shame in not being able to handle the hard stuff… Okay maybe there is a little, but it’s better to stick to what you can handle than spend the rest of the night stuck face down on the bathroom tiles. If you can’t chug that pint without your stomach ballooning, switch to bottles. If you can’t down that shot without your throat burning for the rest of the night, get a dash. Everyone has their drink and way of drinking it so find yours and stick to it if it works.

3. If it hasn’t hit you, don’t hit it.

We Irish have this overwhelming desire to get absolutely floored. We are wholly impatient when it comes to drink and will do anything to get drunk as quickly as humanly possible. Playing catch up is never fun and usually doesn’t end well. You’ve finished work late, met your mates at the bar, you’re sober and they’re already singing Fields of Athenrey, so what do you do? You hit the bar. Few shots, few bottles, few vodka redbulls. “Get it inta ya Cynthia!”, they scream. Catch up, and drinking in general is dangerous, because we’re always waiting for the drink to “hit us”. We feel grand, we’re standing, walking and talking fine, so we head to the bar and indulge again. Twenty minutes later you’ve the vocabulary of a 4 year old and the balance to match. If the drink hasn’t hit you yet, don’t hit it. Give it a few minutes and pace yourself. No one wants to be carried out of Coppers at 1am, sure it hasn’t even started yet!


4. Know Your Limits

Although it is the advice we are all given and avoid like a bad rash, knowing your limits is key to surviving a night out. Don’t do those shots, that dare or that Kings cup if you know it’s all going to end the same way. The key to a night out if enjoying yourself. Don’t drink to another’s pace, just drink to your own.

5. Water is not for the Weak

Water is your saving grace. The morning after or the night before, a glass of water can make the world of a difference. I don’t know about the boys, but if drinking a glass of water is going to make you less of a lad, just tell them you’re holding it for some ride in the bathroom. A few sneaky sips in the dark corners and you’ll be all the better.

6. Eat

Whether it’s before, after, during, whenever. McDonald’s, Ray’s Pizza, Zaytoon and Domino’s are all known to do wonders for a hangover or soak that alcohol up out of your stomach when the birds are already chirping and you’ve only those precious few hours before your alarm sounds.

Karla Chubb

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