I am a junior majoring in biology and on a pre-med track. I like going out with my friends on the weekends; however, I do not like to drink because it interferes with my studying the next day. How can I turn drinks down without looking like a loser?
Dear Peter Pre-Med,
Sometimes the simple solution of just saying “no” is not so simple. Peer pressure can be highly underestimated, as well as the desire to fit in or to escape ridicule. Fortunately, the “out of control, Animal House style” college scene is more a myth than reality. Studies suggest the majority of college students are light drinkers; in fact, many do not drink at all. Therefore, many of your peers may understand the need for you to keep your drinking at a minimum. However, if you are offered a drink and are not sure how to refuse it, the following approaches appease the individual offering the drink while helping you stay alcohol free.
* No, thank you. I have had enough to drink tonight.
* Thanks, but I have a lot of work to do this weekend and I cannot be hung-over tomorrow.
* I would rather get my own drink, thanks.
* I am not feeling well tonight.
* I am driving tonight.
* No, thanks. I am taking medication that I cannot mix with alcohol.
* I am dieting and alcohol has too many calories.
If you are of legal age and want to drink a few cocktails/beers, but want to maintain control and avoid a hangover, consider the following tips.
* Ideally, only have one drink. At most, only have one drink per hour.
* Nurse your drinks. Do not drink quickly, guzzle, or do shots. Avoid drinking games.
* Drink plenty of water in between alcohol beverages.
* Select drinks with low percentages of alcohol, (e.g., beer versus Long Island Iced Tea)
* Avoid mixing different types of alcohol. The wrong combination of alcohol, even in small quantities, can lead to a hangover.
For more questions regarding alcohol or other drugs, contact the Center for Alcohol and Drug Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or 8-6120. If you have a question for Hurricane Health Watch, please email email@example.com.
Garrett Moore is a second-year MBA student. He currently works as a graduate assistant in the Dean of Students Office for the Center for Alcohol and Drug Education.