In honor of our Philly Bar Guide issue, Cary Carr and Ryan Rosengrant are encouraging readers to keep their drinking endeavors safe and classy, whether it’s relaxing with a good beer or walking in shambles down the street.
The craziest thing I’ve done drunk is knock on between 20 to 30 doors saying I was looking for my friend Laquisha,” said Justin Springel, a sophomore engineering major. “It was a maneuver to meet new people and make a great drunken first impression.”
Fortunately for Springel, he was still in the first stage of drinking: happy and a bit tipsy. For a lot of college students, the weekend means partying, and partying involves drinking. Whether it is in a crowded basement reeking of cheap vodka and bodily fluids or at a bar with obnoxiously loud music and an even more obnoxiously growing tab, college kids are getting drunk.
As college students, embarrassing drunken stories are somewhat of a gimmie, but since alcoholism is a prevalent and hereditary disease in my family – and many other students’ – we all need to keep our drinking in check by knowing when to stop.
After all, there does tend to be a hierarchy to drunkenness, ranging from a happy tipsy to an invincible and shameless drunk to the stage we’ve all witnessed or experienced: how-are-you-even-alive drunk.
Of course there are more technical levels of intoxication, which Dr. Jeremy Frank, a psychologist from Tuttleman’s Counseling Services, explained.
“The best way to categorize stages of drunk is with Blood Alcohol Concentration,” Frank said. BAC is the ratio of alcohol to blood in the body. “Drunk is from .11 to .15. Very drunk is usually between .16 and .19. Once you get to .25 to .30 you generally are in a stupor, and from .31 and up would be the beginning of a coma.”
Once people pass the tipsy stage, bad decisions and even worse hangovers are usually the result.
Alex Durst, a sophomore history major, explained the outcome of his night of “hardcore drinking” as messy, to say the least.
“My friend Mitch is walking in front of me, and as he passes this girl, she vomits in a spraying, torrential manner directly onto his jeans,” Durst recalled. “Mitch runs out, and back at our place, we discover a large trail of new, fresh puke from the puke-smeared bathroom to a large exorcism-style puke splatter on Mitch’s door.”
Clearly Mitch had skipped over the invincible-drunk level and ended up at the toilet, but students should be more concerned about the side effects from binge drinking.
“Everyone always focuses on the physical problems like car accidents or date rape or [unidentified drinking injuries],” Frank said. “I think that the obvious effects are clear, but the social and psychological effects of binge drinking leaves people disconnected from others and not very aware of what they need and want from their friends.”
Chelsea West was lucky to have a friend aid her while she endured becoming an emotional wreck while drinking.
“I had already had four shots and a bunch of beers,” West, a sophomore theater major, said. “By the time we left the bar, I was sobbing in the arms of my friend and could barely walk. I thought I was going to die because I was breathing so quickly and couldn’t stop.”
I have my own drunken horror stories – including dropping my own iPhone in a toilet and subsequently trying to flush it – but I try to keep it at the level where I do not have to question where I am or how I ended up there the next morning.
Ranging from West, who described herself as a “social drunk” to Durst, who described himself as a “chronic drunk,” types of drinkers on campus are varied, but drinking should never be an escape from problems or an attempt at a solution for one.
A night of partying should consist of dancing with friends, while avoiding being grinded on by creepy strangers. A few games of beer pong are fine, but as young college students, we should try to preserve our kidneys and make sure our friends do not hate us in the morning.
Cary Carr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.