With the summer days rolling in and life attempting to return to some form of normal reality we are all catching up on the events we have missed over the last few months. I have seen everything from belated 18th birthday parties, graduations right up to Christmas celebrations with family being marked over the last few weeks.
So, if you’re introducing alcohol into your social life for the first time, here are some things that you should know.
You Don’t HAVE To Drink
The first piece of advice I will give you is that it is absolutely okay not to drink. I have found growing up that people love nothing more than to mock people about their choices when it comes to drinking or not drinking.
The legal age for purchasing or consuming alcohol in Ireland is 18 years old and whether you are above or below the legal age you should never feel pressured into drinking if you aren’t comfortable.
If you are a bit nervous about the idea of going out for the first time or drinking I can promise you that you aren’t on your own. The decision is yours, don’t let anyone guilt you into making a decision that you are not comfortable with, it doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or if all of your friends are drinking because “it’s what happens on a night out”.
You can have just as much fun without it and never do anything you aren’t comfortable with and never feel guilty about saying no.
My Own Advice To You
Before the first round is even ordered there are two things you definitely must do: you need to make sure you’ve eaten something substantial and you need to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
You will probably hear many people referring to this as “soakage”. By eating properly and drinking as much water as possible before you go out you will not get tipsy as quickly and will be able to enjoy your night in a safe and responsible way. Considering the beautiful weather we are having right now drinking water and eating properly before you go out is extremely important, even if you don’t feel like eating much because of the heat, you need to!
The last thing you want is to spend your night getting sick. You’ll thank me later.
Take It Easy
The best piece of advice I got when I started going out was to order one pint of water with every drink. The amount of alcohol in your blood which is called your blood alcohol concentration or BAC influences how much of an affect alcohol will have on you. The faster you drink the higher your BAC will be and the drunker you will get. Have one drink and then a glass of water. Continue to eat and drink non-alcoholic drinks, preferably water, during the night to keep yourself right.
Anything that is sugary or sweet or that tastes like it has no alcohol in it, you will drink in no time whatsoever. Nine times out of ten when you order a cocktail or something that is quite sweet it will arrive with two straws which means you will drink it even quicker again, I would advise getting rid of one or both straws and sipping from the glass instead. Sip at your drinks slowly and continue to keep taking water and food on board. Avoid mixing alcohol with energy drinks such as Monster or Red Bull, you’ll drink them in minutes and you’ll get a fantastic headache the next day
The Urban Myth You’re Going To Hear A Lot About On Nights Out
Okay, so I will put my hand up and say that I had absolutely no idea what my “seal” was before I went out for the first time and I will probably never live it down with some of my friends. Basically, when you’re drinking and you need to go to the bathroom, hold it off for as long as you can because once you go you’ll need to go about every forty minutes for the rest of the night. “breaking your seal” is an urban myth that has no scientific evidence to back it up as you don’t actually break any literal seal and alcohol has little to no impact on the amount of liquid that fits in your bladder.
However, I can confirm after the first time you use the bathroom you will need to go several more times before the night is up.
Know YOUR Limits
When you need to stop drinking, stop.
I am the kind of person who gets quite anxious when I can’t fully comprehend what is going on around me and I know many of my friends are the same. So, if your head starts to feel heavy or you get a headache or you find yourself dazing off a little bit, probably best to put down your drink and order yourself a glass of water and stick with it for the rest of the night.
Getting blackout drunk is not as glamourous as some people seem to make it and if you want to stop, stop and don’t let anyone else tell you that you need to have another drink or that you haven’t drank as much as everyone else. Do what is best for you.
Making the leap to these cool new social situations and being an actual adult can be really fun and exciting, but there are responsibilities that come with it too. Always keep your own health and safety as a priority. We have put together a guide on how to keep yourself safe on a night out, which is really important.
Stay safe, and enjoy!