Surviving the morning after

Hangovers are something  most college students are going to experience before graduation.

They aren’t pleasant ,and these can really ruin a day after a very fun night out. I didn’t really see my first real hangover coming, simply because I wasn’t (and still am not) a huge drinker. I’ll have my fun, but usually I’m either limiting myself to two drinks or staying sober and driving everyone else around.

However, it has happened, I have gotten completely and utterly plastered. Yes, me —the responsible ice queen who never lets her hair down or her crown get even a little crooked.

I’ve never gone so far that I’ve forgotten the previous night. I’ve never thrown up due to drinking, nor have I done anything super embarrassing.

But I have gotten to that point where the world is spinning wonderfully and my body feels like it’s made of champagne bubbles. My cares are gone and everything is funny and easy.

But, before I go into the rest of my story (and advice), I do want to make a disclaimer — don’t be stupid about drinking. Don’t drive buzzed. Don’t drink so much that you black out. Don’t text your ex, no matter how tempting the idea may be.

UND has plenty of resources about how to drink safely that I would encourage you to look into if you are new to the wonderful world of booze.

And lastly, remember that you don’t have to get drunk to have fun.

On to the aftermath.

I’ve been hungover twice — once after a cast party and once after a very fun bachelorette party. The first time wasn’t so bad — I ate some greasy food, cuddled with my cats all day and chilled.

I didn’t feel great, mind you. My head was pounding. My stomach was willing to only eat the greasiest pizza known to Grand Forks but I survived. If I had to be at work or class, I would have made it. Honestly, even though I do count it as my first hangover, I don’t count it as my first real hangover.

The second time “Misery” doesn’t quite sum up. Every sound made my stomach roll. Every light that hit my eyes made me want to take a baseball bat to the offending bulb. I was tired, irritable, and so, very thirsty. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to drink water in my life — it was like I had crawled out of the Sahara when I grabbed that first bottle of room-temperature water.

This time, my first real hangover was not what I was expecting. I wasn’t expecting to feel like running a marathon, but I didn’t think I’d be at the point where fetal position on the pullout couch was the best option either.

The previous night came back in flashes of “Did I really send that text, did I really kiss her and holy mother of tequila, did I really post that to my Snapchat story?” And finally the sinking feeling of, yes to all of them and more.

And yet, I had no regrets —frankly, I would have done most of the previous night, if not all, stone cold sober (though I may not have stumbled in my heels nearly as much).

So, what wisdom can you glean from my misery? Well, first, there are a lot of hangover cures out there —and none of them work. Some things help — drinking water, aspirin, rest — but the hangover is still there, looming over you, waiting for your red eyes to give up and close for a nap. Pre-gaming with water didn’t help much either — though you’ll never hear me say not to drink water. Even breaking up drinks with food and more water did nothing to ease the pain I was expecting the next day.

From my observations, I can come to really only one conclusion — hangovers are not avoidable (besides the obvious answer of “not drinking that much in the first place”).

If anything, they are payback from the universe for all the fun had the previous night, a way to restore balance to your world.

All in all, the only thing I can really say about hangovers is that they are beyond unpleasant. Whether or not the exchange of one really fun night is worth the pain of the next day is your decision, but I will say that hangovers reinforce the reasons I don’t drink often, and rarely to excess.

For me, it really isn’t worth the pain to experience a hangover weekend after weekend after weekend. For you? Well, that’s your choice, not mine.

Kjerstine Trooien is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].