With the warm weather approaching and school finally dwindling down to an end, lots of fun activities start popping up around campus like Spring fair and most recently, Homecoming. These are the kind of events where memories are made, school spirit is expressed, and alcohol can tend to pop-up. While you’re basking in the sun (or even dancing in the rain as Spring fairs of the past have shown us), it can be easy to get carried away with drinking, should you choose to. At events like this, some may be drinking a lot, drinking fast and taking lots and lots of pictures to document every moment of it. While the pictures may show tons of fun, it actually puts the drinker at risk for many health complications. Drinking a large quantity of alcohol in a short period of time can be the recipe for more than just a killer hangover (1). Binge drinking has been associated with contracting sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy, strokes, and liver disease (yikes!). Luckily, binge drinking doesn't have to be your fate. You are in control of the rate at which you drink. If you need some tips and tricks to help pace your drinking or avoid it altogether this list was written just for you:
1. Add extra ice to your drink. This will water the drink down, help keep you hydrated (alcohol dehydrates you), and will help you drink your drink slower.
2. For every cocktail or beer you have, have a glass of water after it! Again, this is a great way to keep you hydrated and you can even put the water in a solo cup and people will be less likely to question what you're drinking!
***Personal tip: if drinking isn’t for you or you just don’t feel like drinking, have a glass of water with a splash of cranberry in it! Tastes great and no one will be able to tell it’s a mocktail ;) ***
3. If you find yourself in a situation where everyone's playing a drinking game like beer pong or flip cup, where the point is pretty much to aid in chugging alcohol (a staple for the binge drinker) and you need a good way to get out of it just offer to be the referee! You’ll be in on all the action but won’t be expected to drink so you can stay sober or sip slowly on your cocktail!
4. Enjoy Spring Fair and the events happening... check out vendors, food, and other events, rather than getting sucked into the beer garder and missing out on all the other offerings. Explore, and stay hydrated!
Remember, if you CHEWs to drink do it safely so you can enjoy the event!