As a recent college graduate, I know just how important those first few weeks back to school can be. So what, classes start. I know that’s the least of your worries, since your social calendar will suddenly be full. Plus, professors don’t want to jump into all the intense work right away (at least you repeat this to yourself each day you walk to class). While I do not condone heavy drinking and partying, I just want you to be prepared for what will come your way if you decide to let loose. Don’t let your summer 2012 social drought suddenly be washed away by kegs on kegs of cheap beer, ruining your beach bod and ultimately getting you off to a failing semester.
You may have spent your summer working hard to make some extra cash, and while you may have gone out once in a while, you are not prepared to drink as much as you used to. YOU ARE NOT INVINCIBLE ANYMORE. It’s a sad realization, but this just means you don’t need to spend as much money on drinks. Take it slow and see where your tolerance stands before you go starting off your new school year with a reputation as the “black out basket case.”
As a college student, you may sometimes wish you majored in napping. I suggest that you begin the semester off right by developing a solid sleep schedule. Sure, you want to stay out until 4am every night, but imagine just how much better you’ll feel if you start getting 8 hours of sleep each night. Your routine won’t happen overnight. Start by thinking of your day without a nap planned. Utilize as much time as you have to be productive, so that when you’re ready to go out, you won’t need to push of any important assignments. While developing a sleep schedule sounds like a hassle, it will pay off when you eventually have big assignments.
A night of drinking never ends well on an empty stomach. Try incorporating a healthy dinner into your routine so that when you go out for your friend’s 21st birthday, your body won’t hate you for indulging in any shots that come your way. If you have roommates, plan dinners together and chat about the night’s events. It’s a good way to encourage healthy eating among friends while also having the opportunity to indulge in some gossip. Plus, if you make a good meal, I’m sure you’ll have no problem tweeting a photo or posting the recipe on your Pinterest board to make everyone else on campus jealous of your culinary skills.
Yum. How about trying this recipe for beer-battered fish tacos? (http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/beer_battered_fish_tacos_with_tomato_avocado_salsa.html)
This goes along with moderation, but you should absolutely give yourself a budget when it comes to drinking or going out to eat. Depending on whether or not you have a job, set aside a certain percentage of the money you make or have to use for night’s out. If you feel the need to buy Franzia and Burnett’s, that’s your choice. Even though cheaper alcohol may make you feel terrible the next day, you could splurge a little more on mixers if you stick to a tight liquor budget. And if you go to the bars, check out the daily specials so you’ll know how to make your money go a long way.
I wish you a successful and fun year. Just remember, you came to school to learn and solidify your experience with an important piece of paper. Don’t waste your tuition money so you can constantly have a good time, but instead, find a way to balance out your college experience.