Sam Gilbert is a journalism sophomore and Mustang Daily health columnist.
Sam Gilbert is a journalism sophomore and Mustang Daily health columnist.

Let’s take a minute to remember the middle of senior year in high school: You received your acceptance letter, shed tears of joy at the thought of living in the happiest city in America, and bought your Cal Poly sweatshirt to show off to your peers which school you were going to in the fall.

Sound familiar? Good.

Remember what happened after that? If you don’t, let me spark your memory by reminding you of the alcohol survey we were all required to take before the first day of school.

At the time, it just seemed time-consuming and a reiteration of what our parents have been lecturing us on ever since the idea of underage drinking was brought to their attention.

We all know it happens, even though Cal Poly is not necessarily known for being a huge party school.

However, mistakes often occur when under the influence of alcohol, and I think it’s important to take us back to the middle of senior year to reflect on those three hours we spent completing this dreaded-but-important survey.

According to the University of Miami Police Department, approximately 300,000 of modern-day college students will die from alcohol-related incidents, such as seizures, alcohol poisoning, needless injuries, drunk driving, cirrhosis of the liver, cancer and heart diseases.

If that doesn’t scare you, I know this will: Apparently, one beer, one glass of wine and one shot of hard liquor all contain the same amount of alcohol.

In perspective, just three shots of hard alcohol is the equivalent to three beers or three glasses of wine.

Binge drinking can be defined as about five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women on any one occasion. I bet you’re feeling like an alcoholic now, aren’t you?

Hearing statistics like these makes you think that our generation is doomed since the most common stories from the weekend normally start with, “So, I was wasted last Friday night … ”

Good news: There’s hope. Indiana University Bloomington offers tips on how to be responsible when getting buzzed: Eating food while drinking is a good way to slow down the absorption of alcohol into the circulatory system. The best foods to eat are high in protein, such as cheese and peanuts. Even knowing the names of nice wine, whiskey and beers with certain foods can help cultivate a taste with regard to quality while remaining responsible with quantity.

Not that Taaka can cultivate a taste with anything, but hey, it’s worth a shot (pun intended).

Another tip courtesy of Indiana University is to be aware of unfamiliar drinks. Drinks can often taste fruity, which makes it hard to realize how much alcohol is in them. For example, the drink Caribou Lou: dangerously deceiving.

An important aspect to keep in mind is the combination of drugs with alcohol. This seems like an obvious statement, but even over-the-counter sleeping pills or cold or cough medicines can cause a problem.

I know this all seems like common sense, but now that it’s spring quarter, it’s time to remember safety precautions since it’s day-party season and the booze may be flowing.

According to Truestar Health, about 40 percent of all beer sold in the United States is consumed between May and August. Summed up, this is a party animal’s favorite time of the year.

Alcohol generally makes you extremely dehydrated, so if you plan on drinking in the sun, don’t forget about water. Dehydration can lead to heat stroke, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Another thing to be aware of are the possible side effects to drinking in the sun. In addition to heat stroke, hypoglycemia, defined as heart rhythm irregularities, strokes and weight gain from the calories in alcohol are also common dangers.

Now that we’ve got the basics covered, keep these tips and possible outcomes in mind next time you crack open a couple of brewskis this quarter. Stay safe, Cal Poly!

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