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One minute, you win a round of Cards Against Humanity in your friend’s dorm room. The next, you wake up in the local hospital with an IV in your arm and a doctor telling you that you’ve blacked out. Talk about a wake-up call. Every semester, you hear at least one story about some kid that got too wasted and passed out somewhere in public view of everyone on campus. We all enjoy laughing at them, for the most part. However, speaking from personal experience, it gets a lot less funny when you get a turn moonlighting as the season’s mystery drunkard.
As expected, my recollection of this story gets understandably hazy.
If anything, I try to take it as a lesson in not letting the little things get you down. The way that my troubles started seemed as minor as you could imagine. I attended a function for my sorority, hanging with several of my best friends and enjoying the promise of a beautiful weekend. Picture a screenshot straight from a tacky recruitment video, and you have the exact image of what we looked like. Only “Paris” by the Chainsmokers blasting in the background could make the scene more basic.
And then, disaster. Well, really a minor mishap. Some tie-dye powder came out a little too quickly and before I knew it, I had blue streaks all over my red romper. I panicked, worried I had ruined my outfit permanently. The more I struggled to scrub out the blue dye at the water fountain, the angrier I became. I walked back to my friends with a wet purple splotch on my front and a brand new sour mood to boot. I don’t know what compelled me to do so, but I recall texting one of my friends that even if it became the last thing I ever did, I would get as drunk as possible and have a good time that night.
Cut to five hours later, my friends and I crowded in a dorm at midnight, pregaming for a night of partying. In an effort to live up to my declaration, I played a game with myself. I would take a shot every time I lost a round of Cards Against Humanity. If I had any sense of humor, I probably could have won a few rounds and spared myself of what would come next. Of course, once I lost that first round and drank my first shot, I threw any chance I had of staying sober out the window.
Eight rounds later, I had taken eight shots of vodka, only getting drunker by the minute. Looking back at it, I can’t tell the worst part of it all; getting drunk at a pregame or getting drunk on Kirkland-brand vodka.
The last thing I remember, I had tried to answer, “What are my parents hiding from me?” with the “Kanye West” card, bragging I had a surefire winner. The next thing I knew, the doctor’s voice roused me and I smelled like I’d accidentally fallen into a sewer. Worst of all, I had a pain in my head that felt like two drills in each ear had bored into my brain and met in the middle.
By texting my friends, I pieced the night together like the world’s worst jigsaw puzzle. At 1 a.m., we crossed campus to head to the nearest bar. I apparently didn’t even make it 100 feet before I got sick and fell unconscious on the quad. EMTs came and I finished my night in the back of an ambulance. Several people had called me in the morning, asking how I felt. Adding insult to injury, a friend sent me a photo of myself lying in a heap on the grass—aptly captioned, “Night, Susan.”
The only remotely funny part about this situation happened when my friend Hana tried asking questions to check my responsiveness while the ambulance arrived. When she got no response after asking my name and the year, she told me to name the current quarterback of the New York Giants. According to her, I raised my head, slurred “Eli Manning,” then promptly passed out again.
Following a phone call to my mother and checking out of the hospital, I took an Uber back to campus, all the while fantasizing about passing out again. Only this time, I had every intention of curling up under my covers à la Sleeping Beauty and not moving for the rest of the day. Hell, maybe even the rest of my life.
Frankly, I think I managed to take the walk of shame to a whole new level as I struggled to return to my sweet, sweet bed. I staggered through the 200 feet back to my dorm in a daze, looking like I’d just pulled myself out of the grave. People who saw me shot me knowing looks, but I didn’t have the energy to tell them that the only bed I spent the night in belonged to a hospital, not a guy.
After a walk that felt like it had taken a year, I returned to my room and collapsed onto my sheets. For a girl who considers herself physically incapable of napping, I slept for nine straight hours that day. My hangover, unfortunately, didn’t get the message to vacate the premises. It stuck around like a persistent hookup, only leaving once the weekend finally ended.
The next Tuesday, I got slapped with a required meeting with student conduct. Let’s just say that I swore off booze for a good few weeks after that. Those who do not learn from history, after all, only get doomed to repeat it.
Nowadays, I try to keep a closer eye on what I drink and how much my friends have on nights out. I never want to find myself waking up in a situation like that ever again, and while I can laugh about it with my friends, I also try to ward them away from drinking too much themselves. It all seems like fun and games until it happens to you, and I happily play party mom for my group of friends when we all decide to head out for the night if it means that we all get home on our own two feet.
I can also safely say that I have had the sense to retire my Cards Against Humanity drinking game.