An education is a beautiful thing and getting the chance to go to college is even better. Call it an honor, a privilege, whatever you want, but no matter how many all-nighters you pulled and how many hours you logged in the library surrounded by piles of papers and books, let’s all be honest: you did a lot of drinking, too. There’s something so magical about the college-aged hangover because it’s like you wake up the next day after getting two hours of sleep and you’re a brand new person. Seriously, it’s nuts. But you can’t help it, you were 19/20/21 and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Now you’re a so-called adult in the so-called adult world and hangovers are a whole different story. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here’s your official post-college hangover survival guide.
- Stay in for the next week. We all love to joke about how when you get older (as in mid-20s and up) your hangover lasts for at least three days instead of only one. Sometimes your hangover even lasts between three days and a full week. If you feel like you’re coming down with something and/or are totally exhausted on a Wednesday when you partied Saturday night, that’s your post-college hangover. Annoying, yes. So do yourself a favor and don’t make any plans for the next week. Embrace the whole “Netflix and chill” thing that all the cool millennials are talking about. Except you really will be watching Netflix. If your BF wants to join in, that’s allowed, but make it clear that you really will be catching up on Orange Is The New Black (hey, you never watched the finale).
- Catch up on pop culture. Your days-long hangover is the perfect time to finally read all about the latest award show that Miley Cyrus offensively hosted and to figure out what your fall 2015 TV obsession should be (obviously Scream Queens). Hey, you’re a busy woman. You have your career and your dating struggles and your BFFs. Your hangover is a sacred time, so treat it as such.
- Avoid dating. You could be the world’s most adorable drunk but I can guarantee that we all are pretty terrible people when we’re truly hungover. Consider the next few days your dating-free zone and just take some time for yourself. You don’t exactly need an alcohol-fuelled first date right now and besides, you don’t want to add all that texting anxiety to your hangover.
- Reassess your life goals. A hangover is the best time to decide whether you’re living your dream life or a total nightmare. You’re already horizontal on the couch and have tons of time to think, so you might as well take full advantage of it and figure your stuff out. Maybe you’ll be so inspired that you’ll decide to finally change careers and start that business you’ve always wanted to. Or you’ll be so bored that you’ll be dying to go to work. Either one is good.
- Decide whether you’re drinking too much. Alcoholism is no joke, of course, and since your hangover is now lasting way longer than just a single Sunday afternoon, you want to be aware of whether you’re drinking too much. If your long hangovers are happening on the reg, you’re probably enjoying one too many Gin and Tonics. A post-college hangover should happen once a month at the most, because you’re a grown woman and have stuff to do, right?
- Make your world a drama-free zone. Now is definitely not the time to pick a useless fight with your live-in boyfriend or finally tell your best friend what you really think of her new guy. Try to keep the peace as much as you can right now. You’re probably pretty worn-out, headachey and dehydrated. You don’t want to add angry and argumentative to the mix.
- Sweat (and not because you’re wearing sweatpants). Sorry, but you know you’re choosing pizza over kale in your hungover state, so you might as well get your butt to your local gym or trendy yoga class. Just don’t annoy all your friends with how healthy you’ve become.
- Go easy on yourself. Our minds tend to go to super negative places when we’re tired, sick or hungover (so, all three). Don’t let this be you. Sure, life has its ups and downs but you’re doing your best and contrary to what your perfectionist self believes, your best is always enough.
- Swear you’ll never do this to yourself ever again. Stick to a single glass of red wine at your BFF’s birthday next weekend. You’ll be so proud of being hangover-free that you’ll overindulge next time and the whole cycle will start all over again. But at least now you know how to deal.