So it’s time to go out on the sesh!
Well my guys, gals and non binary pals, let us first tell you- do not feel pressured to drink! If pubs and clubs, even house parties aren’t normally your thing and you being out is already out of your comfort zone, then that’s enough. Theres nothing worse than losing the run of yourself just because it’s what’s seen as “normal”. If you want to stick to fizzy drinks or zero alcohol beer for the night, you do you.
But if you stick to these tips we can promise the craic will be mighty and you’ll have some of best college memories.
1) Prep for the night ahead – there are many things you can do to prepare for a night out. Things like knowing what you’re wearing ahead of time or what you want to do with your hair and make up can really speed things up and help you feel at ease. Have taxi fare in a separate part of your wallet/bag to make sure you don’t accidentally spend it. One really important thing to do is to line your stomach! Some may think it’s uncool to eat before going out cos you feel bloated or cos you get drunker quicker on an empty stomach. But that’s the trap everyone falls into. A good way to get into the habit of this is to plan ahead with friends. Whether that be ordering a pizza, going to dinner etc, make sure you eat!
2) The prinks- ahhhh prinks. One of the better parts of the night in our opinion. Everyone’s excited, there’s a smell of Elnett hairspray and booze in the air. We say you should take it handy and not mix your drinks. A common mistake students make is to drink as much cheap booze as possible so that they have to spend as little money as possible when out. But that’s the mistake. If you choose to drink, and make sure you don’t give into peer pressure, have enough to get “the buzz”, otherwise you’ll be fighting with a bouncer saying you’ve only had a few.
3) The drinks – now for the drink itself. We recommend you stick to the same one or two drinks. If you mix lots of different types of alcohol, you will definitely regret it in the morning, if not later that night. Also, a huge tip is to avoid sugary drinks as much as possible. Now don’t get us wrong, we LOVE a good cocktail as much as the next person, but it’s the sugar that unnerves your stomach and kills you with the hangover the following morning. We recommend that you stick to beers and stouts. If you really want to drink spirits, take it handy and mix with less sugary mixers like soda water, tonic, diet sodas etc. Our favorite is Jameson with a bit of water and some blackcurrant dilute. Sweet like a cocktail but less likely to give you a hangover and much much cheaper. It’s also a great drink for prinks and nights in. Also, please stay away from shots. They may seem like a great idea at the time. We’ve all been there. But they burn your throat, they’re overrated and rack up money super fast. Before you know it, you’re broke and puking your ring up.
4) The drunks – Whether you’ve got the run of yourself or your friends had one too many, you need to keep safe. Drink some water and get some food into you. Always have your wits about you and don’t go wandering off on your own. If you plan to get a taxi home with friends, stick to the plan. Yes, it’s very exciting being away from home, meeting new people, wanting to try new things. But your safety is much more important than going home with someone you just met. Also, if you leave with someone, are you the one leaving a friend on their own? Think ahead on ways to keep yourself safe from creepy drunks. Maybe invest in a personal alarm? Pssst! It’s legal to carry around hairspray in place of pepper spray! Now, grab your pals, get yourself some hot carbs and hon home!
5) Getting home safe – So we’ve hit the stashing money in another part of your wallet/bag, we’ve mentioned sticking with your pals and ways to keep yourself safe. What else is there? One thing we can say is think ahead on HOW you’re getting home. Is someone being the designated driver? Are you leaving early enough to get the last Bus Eireann of the night? When it comes to taxis, we suggest you call a reputable firm or use a booking app. Yes, we know it’s much easier to fall out of a supermax and into a taxi, but it’s not the safest. Now once you’re in a taxi, take note of the driver’s medallion number or screenshot the texts from the company/app and send the info to a friend or family member. From experience we also recommended that you get a driver’s business card or save their number if you felt safe with them and thought they were nice. To do all this, take photos and track down friends, we suggest no pointless scrolling to save your battery. Also a super handy trick we find works with any dodgy people in general, is just doing a quick voice note to someone and just saying where you are at the time. All of these tips combined will make sure you have the best nights out ever and survive being a student.
6) Before bed – one of the best parts of the night is when you’re buzzing from how good it was, still a little tipsy and knowing that soon you’ll be in your pjs. So what’s first? Put on the kettle of course! Then get into your pjs and remove any makeup and dirt. Even you boys! You have several hours of sweat, food, remnants of other peoples makeup, sweat and food on you, not to mention that not all of that last pint went in your gob! Get that face clean, kids! Once you’ve that done, go make that cuppa and have some toast! Eating after drinking alcohol is paramount, otherwise you’ll find yourself feeling extra fragile in the morning. Have your toast, take 2 paracetamol and drink as much water as you can before settling down for the night. Plug your phone in and breathe a sigh of relief that you made it home safe.
7) The morning after the night before – even if you follow these tips to the letter, you still might feel a bit delicate the following day. First thing you’ll need is water. Slow sips at a steady rate and you’ll come around. Next is to find the best hangover food for you. For most of us it’s a hot chicken roll with sweet chilli sauce. For you, it might be noodles, sausage rolls or just chugging lucozade sports until you can even think about food again. So get something into you, have a nice hot shower and get to catching up with your friends.
8) The digest – this part is almost as good as everything else combined! The part where you and your friends or housemates sit in the common room talking about everything that happened the night before. It usually involves hot chicken rolls, multiple cups of tea and deleting your Instagram story from the wee hours of the night.
So there you have it kids, how to survive not only freshers week but everything from your first morning to the first morning after the night before.
Remember that if you are struggling, reach out to friends, family and see what resources your college has for you! Support officers, counselling services like Éist, and even peer counsellors! They’re all free so make sure to take care of yourself!