There’s nothing quite like the fresh slate of a new semester — especially in our eclectic, immensely prideful city of Buffalo.
With football season around the corner and classes underway, who better to celebrate with than the Bills Mafia and the city of good neighbors? Whether it be new beginnings or a return to the madness, this time of year tends to heavily involve alcohol.
It’s worth noting that it’s completely acceptable if you’re not into drinking. Everybody loves the designated driver. If you’re having a night out with your friends, and you don’t want to drink, then you can provide a valuable, sober perspective and make sure everyone gets home in one piece.
And while it’s fun to have a brew or two to bring in the new academic year, college students tend to have a little more than one or two — which is OK once in a blue moon!
That being said, it’s important to maintain good manners and be safe while drinking.
Know your limits, bro
If you find yourself saying, “Ugh, I think I drank too much” halfway through the night, then you’re most likely right!
There’s no need to test your limits. If your body is telling you to slow down or stop, then please do so.
A common phrase heard in drinking culture is “boot and rally.” This saying means if you’ve drunk too much, you should puke up the alcohol already in your system in order to drink more.
This is inadvisable for a number of reasons. When you vomit, your body loses a critical amount of electrolytes and hydrochloric acid needed for normal digestion. The Cleveland Clinic recommended that you wait a few hours before ingesting anything after you’ve thrown up. Your body needs time to get back to its normal digestive state. Vomiting and then immediately filling your stomach with alcohol could be seriously harmful to your body, so it’s in your best interest to stop when your body tells you it’s time.
Keep your hands to yourself, bro
After a couple of Busch Lights, you might start to feel very passionate about the people around you. You’ve got a buzz going, and with your newfound liquid confidence, you’re looking to make a new friend. So, you put your hand on someone’s shoulder as a way of getting their attention. While you may think this is a simple introductory gesture, the sense of touch can be dramatically misconstrued by others.
However well-intentioned the gesture,, it can be seen as an unwelcome approach. . Studies show that alcohol can inhibit the prefrontal cortex — the decision making part of your brain — which can cause more aggressive responses to stimuli, especially for males.
The act of putting your hand on someone’s shoulder could be met with “did you just f—ing touch me?” instead of “Hey pal! Nice to meet ya!”
Find a ride home, bro
You open your eyes, and you find yourself sprawled out on your friend’s living room couch. You hastily pat your pockets to make sure that everything’s there. “Phone, wallet, keys,” you say to yourself. You tap your phone screen and what looks like a supernova blinds you instantly. You quickly lower your brightness to see that it’s 2 o’clock in the morning. “I should go home”, you tell yourself. You’ve had one too many, and you’re still buzzed.
“I should be okay to drive,” you tell yourself.
I’m here to tell you: no, you’re not OK.
Drunk driving causes over 17,000 deaths each year, according to the New York State Police. That’s one death every 30 minutes.
The odds are never in your favor, and you are not OK to drive, no matter how sober you think you are. Why risk your own life just to sleep in your own bed? Come on now. Either stay at your buddy’s house or call an Uber and pick your car up in the morning. Your life is too valuable.
If you plan on drinking — whether at a friend’s house, a wedding, a dive bar or your cousin’s bar mitzvah — you should always be respectful of those around you, your body and most importantly, your own life.
The academic year has only just begun. It would be a shame to ruin it with bad manners and choices.
Dylan Greco is the opinion editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org