COLUMN: Happy Halloween doesn’t have to mean horrifying hangover

Marianne Hale

As a child, I had two main objectives when it came to Halloween. One, hit up all the houses with the best trick-or-treat candy. And two, steer clear of every ghost, ghoul, vampire and any other dead or undead creature roaming the streets to instill fear in wimpy kids like me.

I’ve moved on from trick-or-treating (I’ll still accept any candy you’re willing to share, though), and I’m learning how to cope with my fear of monsters.

But Halloween nowadays brings on a new set of worries: How do I find a cute costume that doesn’t require dressing up like a slutty bunny, pumpkin, cat, etc.? Who’s going to be the designated driver when everyone at the Halloween party has had a bit too much to drink? And how am I going to handle this unholy Halloween hangover in the morning?

You’re on your own with the first two, but maybe I can help with the last.

In honor of the upcoming Halloween weekend in which I assume much partying and, um, celebratory festivities will occur, I wanted to find out how a college student might handle a hangover.

So, I consulted my team of hangover experts, made up of mostly current college students and recent graduates, and they gave me their best tips and tricks for avoiding a scary Halloween hangover.

1) Don’t drink. Several friends suggested that the best solution to avoiding a hangover is just to avoid alcohol altogether. That might be tough if most of your friends and fellow partygoers are drinking, but if it’s any consolation, I’m actually staying sober for Halloween weekend. If nothing else, know that somewhere in Bowling Green, I’m not drinking either. Let the requests for my designated driver abilities begin.

2) Be exclusive. Don’t mix different types of alcohol. Some of my experts said they feel much worse if they have had lots of different types of drinks, like mixing vodka concoctions, margaritas and beer. Staying true to one type of alcohol might keep you from having less of the “Big Head,” as my best friend’s mother calls it.

3) Say hello to H2O … and lots of it. If I’ve been drinking, I usually have a glass of water as soon as I wake up the next morning. But friends recommend drinking H2O with their poison of choice, adding that it helps prevent dehydration and a headache the next morning.

4) Get greasy. It seems a favorite drunken destination of choice is Waffle House, and it might be for good reason. Several of my experts said greasy food always hits the spot when they’ve been drinking, and one even mentioned the healing powers of bacon, which is full of protein that breaks down into amino acids and makes you feel better. If you live on campus and have meal plans to spare, the Fresh Food Company is your friend, at least according to one of my hangover experts.

5) Medicate. My expert recommended taking some headache medicine before bed and then again when you wake up. One friend said Excedrin is her pill of choice, but Advil, Motrin and Tylenol will do just fine.

6) Catch some Z’s. Many friends recommended just sleeping it off. Try to remember to take off your Halloween costume beforehand, otherwise you might end up with makeup, glitter or other remnants of Halloween all over your pillow and photo evidence on Facebook if you have mischievous roommates.

Some final words to the wise: Just be safe. Make sure you have a designated driver or even a designated walker if you need one. Try to avoid getting picked up for public intoxication, although that slutty bunny costume might make a pretty fantastic mugshot.