Your alarm wakes you up 15 minutes before you are supposed to be sitting in class. The rhythmic beeping of it feels like an obnoxious gnome pounding on the inside of your head. Your mouth is so dry you would do anything for even just a drop of water… anything but get out of bed. You probably aren’t quite sure of how you got home or what you did last night. All you can think is: Why the fuck did I drink so much last night?

We’ve all had some sort of morning like this. I used to think I was exempt from getting hangovers, but now at my old age of 22, I’ve been there a few times. Now that I’m starting to get mild hangovers, I’m considering taking the advice given to me so many times: Don’t drink so much! After this brief consideration, I decided the real problem was not that I drank too much. The problem was, during my reckless drinking, I never needed to consider the next morning. Now, as usual, I decided to find a solution, which I will impart to you all.

The cause of hangovers has to do with a biological process of breaking down alcohol into acetaldehyde. It pretty much amounts to this: Booze in the body turns into the drunk feeling we love, followed by the hangover we hate. Everyone’s body works differently – some people are better at dealing with the acetaldehyde than others, which is why one person could feel a horrible hangover and another person drinking the same amount could feel fine.

On to the good stuff: the prevention of that nasty morning-after feeling. Preventing a hangover may be difficult if you are a careless drunk, like me. When I’m drunk, I have a bad tendency of being easily convinced to do anything. From streaking to smoking, and from eating a monster burrito to drinking an 18-foot beer bong of death – I’ll do pretty much anything when I’m drunk. If you are not an absolute moron when you’re drunk, you can take some preventative steps so you don’t wish death upon yourself the next morning.

First: Drink a lot of water. This may be kind of difficult to do while partying, but at the end of the night remember to chug water – not vodka. Even if it is right before you pass out, pound a few glasses of water (don’t forget to pee), then fall onto your comfy bed or sofa.

Second: Take a multivitamin. Drinking alcohol depletes a lot of vitamins and minerals in your body. A lack of these nutrients can increase the severity of your hangover. Plus, drink it with a lot of water before you pass out and you kill two skunks with one stone.

Third: Try to eat at some point in the night. It’s best to eat a full meal before you go out drinking, but if you don’t get the chance, at least grab a little grub while you drink. No, I’m not saying eat an entire order of nachos because then you will wake up with a hangover and an unpleasantly full belly. All you need is a little snack at some point in the night and you’ll feel a little less like hell in the morning.

Finally: Be careful what you drink. I know it is hard, but if you really do get bad hangovers, you should try to choose your drinks wisely. Besides alcohol, there are other poisons in your drinks. Congeners occur in fermented drinks and can make you feel real sad when your happy drunk state fades away. In general, darker drinks – red wine, dark beer and bourbon – have more congeners than lighter drinks like white wine, vodka, gin and light beer. Try to avoid darker drinks and cheap booze because they have more poisons that will make you feel like shit later.

I hope this information was of some use to you all. Try out a few of these suggestions and see if you feel better in the morning. Check out my article next Wednesday where I explore different methods of curing hangovers for people like me who are drunkenly incapable of logic and hangover prevention.