One of the most anticipated holidays of the year for many university students is just around the corner — St. Patrick’s Day. While the traditionalists may be spending the day at church in honour of the observed death date of the Irish Saint Patrick, the day across many post-secondary campuses has since become an excuse to party while clad in green; no matter how Irish (or non-Irish) you may be.
The thing with St. Patrick’s Day is that many choose to drink during the daytime, but this brings a whole new set of circumstances to the forefront. Because of this, it’s important for us as students to bring ourselves up to speed on the necessary steps we should take in remaining safe and healthy if we are to decide to indulge in some alcoholic beverages.
For starters, if you’re not 19, don’t bother with the alcohol. You’ll just end up getting yourself in trouble. However, if you are 19 or above, you’re also not in the clear. It’s illegal to have open alcohol in public spaces. So, be smart, keep it within the confines of your home and save yourself some money by not receiving an easily avoidable ticket. Here are some more tips:
Don’t drink on an empty stomach
It’s important that you have eaten before you start consuming alcohol, throughout the day. The reason for this is that alcohol enters your bloodstream through your stomach and if your stomach is empty that speeds up the process. Things can go south pretty quickly in that scenario.
No, I don’t mean drink more alcohol. Alcohol actually causes you to become dehydrated; drink some water to hydrate yourself before you start drinking alcohol. Also, mix in some drinks of water in between alcoholic drinks throughout the day to keep things level.
You may find having a couple of drinks fun but that doesn’t mean it’s a race. Slow the pace and sip your drink. It’ll be more enjoyable if you’re feeling good as opposed to sick from over-consuming in a short period of time.
Keep track of what you consume
It’s important to keep track of how much alcohol you are putting into your body. Sometimes it’s easy to drink more than you realize; especially in an environment with other people drinking, too. The reality is though that each individual processes alcohol differently so the only person that can truly know your limit is yourself. Know this: your body can only process one standard drink per hour, so be careful.
Don’t peer pressure/don’t succumb to peer pressure
Peer pressure can be a difficult thing to deal with but it’s okay to turn down the offer of a drink. Once again, you know better than anyone how you are feeling and what your limit is. In addition, for your own safety, never accept drinks from someone you don’t know. On the other end of the spectrum, don’t peer pressure people into drinking. Respect the wishes of those who have had enough or are not interested in consuming alcohol.
Don’t drink and drive
We should all be aware of the dangers of this by now but it should still be said. We are lucky to have many great options to get around in St. Catharines/Thorold. Take public transit, call a taxi or an Uber. There is no circumstance where getting behind the wheel of a car is acceptable after consuming alcohol.
St. Patrick’s Day can be a lot of fun. However, as students of Brock, it’s important for us to remember that we share a community with many others in the St. Catharines and Thorold area. Just because you are drinking and it is St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t give you the excuse to be disrespectful of the world around you. We are adults and capable of conducting ourselves in a manner that is both enjoyable and harmless. Hopefully these tips will help to keep you safe and healthy if you are consuming alcohol but remember, you are responsible for your actions no matter the circumstance.
Let’s not leave it up to luck. Be respectful, be safe and have fun. Happy St. Patrick’s Day lads and lasses. Cheers.