Before beginning university, I had never drank alcohol. I only attended one party in high school, and that was after our class banquet in grade 12. We had school the next day and I had to drive home, so, I couldn’t drink.
I had spent two weeks in my new home as a university student – when the temptation came to give drinking a try.
It was Friday the 13th. Though I may have received some encouragement from my friends, I decided to ease into it socially. I drank three quarters of a can of beer, two shots of vodka and one shot of spiced rum.
The effects of the liquor were rather minimal for my first time drinking, but made me drowsy after about an hour and a half.
The next night, a friend from high school informed me he was preparing to leave residence and live off-campus, so, he invited me to have a couple drinks with him. I agreed, but things quickly took a turn for the worse when he encouraged me to drink beyond my comfort level.
If I had let myself be consumed by peer pressure and gotten written off rather than drink only two beers, I question whether I would have any memories of that evening (at the very least).
The next weekend, I drank three beers on Friday and managed to get a healthy buzz, then drank five on Saturday. I discovered I need to drink at least five beer to get drunk. For that night, five also was the limit as I began to fear for my tolerance level.
Going to a Friday night party in Harrington Hall, I had set a limit of six beers and a goal to stay awake until midnight. I reached my limit over a four-hour period, and was awake until 12:30 a.m. on Saturday.
I have not yet waken up experiencing symptoms of a hangover, nor have I sustained any injury while under the influence. I have only been sick after drinking once and I can easily recall an overwhelming majority of my experiences while drunk.
This leads me to my advice for first-time and experienced drinkers. Many of you learn your limit at some time or another. Stick to it. Avoid drinking beyond your tolerance level.
Pace yourself. Consuming a significant amount of liquor in a short period of time can have profound consequences and increases your risk for injury, a blackout or alcohol poisoning. Drink lots of water when finished to avoid a hangover in the morning.
Most importantly, never feel like drinking is a necessity to fit in. Many of my friends do not choose to drink, something I am willing to respect.