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So I’m in my third year of university and I have never been any more than tipsy when I’m in public. (There was this one time when I got drunk while watching stupid cartoons on Youtube, but let’s not talk about that.) Now being the lightweight that I am, that usually means that I have a grand total of one drink, and then the dance floor calls to me and I flail my limbs around as if I completely lack coordination, and I’m tipsy enough not to care.

Believe it.

If you don’t drink very often, you’ll probably be as lightweight as I am when you start. So here: a newbie’s guide to drinking for a newbie who also happens to be a lightweight.

1. Food first, drinks second. DO NOT REVERSE THIS ORDER.

tina fey I can have it all gif(via)

Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of going to my class formal after a 4-hour exam. There were 5 hours between the end of the exam and being at the pre-party, which meant that I had 5 hours to get home, nap, watch MTV, and get ready. I forgot to eat lunch. I didn’t realize this until I took a sip of a cooler and it proceeded to burn the inside of my empty stomach. Half a cooler later, I was tipsy. I figured that it would be okay because we were having dinner at the venue, but it was not okay. I was, indeed, tipsy off of the one drink (two half-drinks actually, because that’s how I roll) that I had that night. And I woke up with a headache.

2. Order basic drinks.

mean girls is there alcohol in this gif(via)

So if you haven’t been around alcohol very much, you don’t know any of the standard cocktails. To you, a screwdriver is a tool that you use to literally drive screws into various pieces of furniture. Try all of the standard cocktails. Anything with two ingredients is a safe bet, especially if the two ingredients are listed in the name (ehem, cranberry vodka). If you start with crazy concoctions, you’ll never learn which liquors you like the best, or what to combine them with. You’ll be lost in the abyss that is cocktails. Forever. And that would be very sad.

3. Avoid taking shots.

shots gif(via)

Hold on there. I am not anti-fun. I’m just saying, if you don’t usually drink, you probably don’t know your limit. I would hate for you to take five shots in a row, then fall over on your face, blackout, and wake up on somebody else’s lawn. It would probably make for a funny story, but you should be able to control how often you become unconscious due to alcohol – and that means knowing your limit.

4. Don’t drink your feelings.

drinking gifs(via)

First of all, it’s expensive. Second, it’s a bad habit to fall into. Drinking is not a cure for sadness. Don’t think that alcohol will solve your problems, because it won’t.

What was your first drink?

Featured image courtesy of TMAB2003 via Flickr (CC-BY-ND-2.0).