According to the always reliable nevertoohungover.com–which I can only assume from its name, is the BuzzFeed of sites devoted to drinking–Frank Sinatra once said, “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”
What sage words. What a profound statement. I mean, sure, Frank Sinatra 100 percent didn’t actually say that, despite what his charming romanticism of being black-out, hospital-grade-anesthetic level of being body-numbing drunk implies. Believe it or not, I actually do agree with the sentiment. Though we may complain about them, they may be the bane of most college students’ weekends, but at the end of the day (when we can finally crawl out of bed because we are no longer hungover), hangovers are a gift.
I know this sounds like the kind of fluffy bullshit that permeates every single article that has ever been published on The Odyssey Online, but stay with me. I did some deep soul-searching–which is just as good as researching–for this article. One thing that I can already conclude is that my Intro to Sociology Professor will be simultaneously proud and horrified.
The first good thing about a debilitating, head-throbbing hangover is that it is concrete and irrefutable proof that you went out last night. As someone who classifies herself as a high-energy introvert, I like going out on the weekends, but sometimes I find that I also need to have a night to Netflix and chill alone. I know that this dichotomy sounds like a get-to-know-me post in an admitted students page, but it’s real.
Thankfully I have never been on the receiving end of someone negatively stigmatizing not-partying. But as angsty Vassar Missed posts clearly indicate, there are some people on campus who would have fit better at a frat house. The attitude behind this kind of behavior could be scientifically classified as Netflixing-in-bed-shaming.
So, instead of being upset about my headache, if anyone ever says to me, “Evelyn, I didn’t see you last night, did you even go out?” I hope it’s clear as moonshine that I’ll quip, “Um, yeah, Sarah, I did. Could the blood vessels in my head be pulsing this dramatically from watching one-and-a-half episodes of “Broad City” and then falling asleep by a reasonable hour? That’s what I thought. Now if you will excuse me, I need to cocoon into my hoodie because this gentle, afternoon sunlight is absolutely searing into my corneas.”
More than just providing social capital, though, hangovers have the opportunity to be a centripetal force and create solidarity among students. Here at Vassar we may not be a huge sports institution, but every Saturday and Sunday morning when students converge at the Deece around 1 p.m., eyes glazed and complexion peaked, we are all on the same team with the same goal. Now all we need to do is keep down some shitty coffee and spend the rest of the day in the library, cursing ourselves for not heading to the 24-hour Section last night to write that history paper about a medieval quest; ruing our flawed logic that journeying around the TH’s on a far more demoralizing quest would essentially be the same thing.
Who needs a team captain when you just locked eyes with that equally hungover dude across the Deece and gave each other a nod of approval? Exactly.
A hangover can also be construed as a very necessary type of cleanse. Think about it. If the axiom, “You are what you eat” is accurate, do you really want $4 of a $16 bottle of vodka just chilling in your body? The little homie known as your liver is going through a goddamn war of attrition that will probably be taught about in liver history classes for many years.
So let her and your entire gastrointestinal tract be angry with you. You honestly deserve it. Also, there’s nothing wrong with being so nauseous that you can only stomach Deece cantaloupe for breakfast, because, really, when was the last time you ate a piece of fruit? And no, raspberry-flavored Smirnoff absolutely does not count, you mongrel.
Finally, a hangover is a blessing in the form of a life re-evaluation. As cliché as it is to point out, when was the last time you woke up with a hangover and thought, “Wow, I made a lot of respectable and well-planned decisions last night! Mayhaps I should send my mother and father all the selfies I took!”
The answer to that riddle is never. That has never happened, nor will it ever happen. You definitely just woke up grimy with the sin of last night. (And possibly with a confused response to the drunk email you excitedly sent your genetics professor about seeing a beaver by Sunset Lake.)
Be a responsible adult and use your current hangover as a means with which you can move forward towards bigger and better hangovers. Perhaps that’s a little cynical, but it’s also the truth. As much as you may moan, “I’m never drinking again,” we all know you will. Hell, I will too. After all, Founder’s Day is just around the corner. You and I both know you just bought a “Little Mermaid” shot glass. And we are both very ready to drink like a fish and then flounder around Ballantine. But first I need to scrounge some ibuprofen out of the corner of my desk drawer, because I have a terrible hangover.