Ask Ainsley, Student Life

Ask Ainsley: “How can I avoid blacking out?”

Dear Ainsley,

Last weekend I went to a party at a friend’s house. I was drinking vodka and not really counting my shots and I ended up blacking out for the first time. My friends took great care of me, but I still woke up the next morning feeling really embarrassed and confused. I don’t want people to think of me of that girl who can’t hold her liquor, and I’m really worried I made a bad impression. What are some ways I can pace myself/avoid blacking out in the future?


Hungover and hating it

Dear HAHI,




First off, I wouldn’t worry too much about the impression you made. Almost everyone wakes up thinking about the stupid things they did, rather than what anyone else did. It’s not difficult to accidentally end up getting blackout at a party. In a regular game of beer pong, for example, you can easily end up drinking 4 or 5 beers in the time you might normally take to drink one.

One way to pace yourself is to continually drink water throughout the night, especially after each shot you consume. Alcohol dehydrates you, so drinking water will reduce your hangover the next morning. Also, if you normally drink hard liquor, try sticking to beer or wine next time. It’s easy to get too drunk by drinking mixed drinks if you’re not really measuring them or knowing how many shots you can handle. If you know you’re going to go out at night, make sure you’ve eaten enough for dinner. The amount of liquor you can tolerate isn’t a set amount—it varies depending on a number of factors, including how much you’ve eaten that day or if you’ve been working out.

You could also try a night off drinking or drinking less than you normally do. All through first year, I refused to get casual drinks anywhere because I didn’t want to spend money on anything that wasn’t a crazy party. As I get older, and hopefully wiser, I’m definitely starting to see the benefits in taking it easy every once in awhile. If you are in a situation where heavy drinking is involved, try to pace yourself. While most university chants seem to put the emphasis on chugging, it’s really not that impressive of a talent. You’ll thank yourself later if you sip slowly. Additionally, it may be a good idea to measure out how many shots you normally can handle and bring it to the party in a flask rather than the whole bottle. The worst nights I’ve had have definitely been ones where I had unlimited access to alcohol, because even if I think I know my own limits, there comes a point when I’m too drunk to realize I shouldn’t have had more.

If you’re really worried about what you did, there’s nothing wrong with shooting the host an apology text. There’s a huge chance they won’t even know what you’re talking about, but people always appreciate the courtesy.


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