How to Deal with the Morning After


By Emma McAnaw

While simultaneously walking down Marshall and bearing the bullets of sleet whipping against my face, I overheard a townie in the middle of the street, screaming at a car, “Boom, hit me!” Granted, I could have easily brushed him off as some freaking psycho who gets off from screaming at innocent drivers. And after a matter of time I did. But in that moment, I realized: I treat my life the same way that man treated the driver of the car. In a way, almost every student does. We barrel through life, making as many stupid decisions as we possibly can, daring our mistakes to catch up with us. It’s only when they do, that we realize it feels like a damn car plowed its way through our lives. If you’re not catching onto my analogy, think of how it must feel for a car to run you over—it probably really fucking hurts.

This past weekend, I realized how much easier it is to make a mess out of your life than it is to clean the aftermath. Sometimes the mistakes are easy to fix, like falling down the stairs and forming a hand-sized bruise on your ass (good luck sitting on that bad boy). Other times, it’s harder to fix, like broken trust and friendships. This is especially true when you don’t remember (thank you, alcohol) what exactly you’ve done wrong. You just know that there are friends who now don’t want to talk to you, or morally wrong actions you can’t undo. That’s the one downfall of being young—we don’t have the knowledge or experience on how to fix these situations. Sometimes it feels like the best we can do is hope for the best, and try to better ourselves for the future.

College tends to lead us to believe that as young people, we have the right to go absolutely nuts if we want to. Our bodies are still able to endure the things we put them through (or at least we tell ourselves they can). After all, we’re not in the “real world,” so what could possibly happen? Don’t get me wrong, that mindset is great; it lets you live as if you don’t have a care in the world, and believe that life is never going to get hard. Your biggest concern is what hangover remedy you’re going to use in the morning. But after a particularly harsh wake-up call, we all eventually learn that no matter your age, with every irresponsible choice comes a consequence.

The silver lining to these horrible “morning-afters” is the lessons we learn from past mistakes. It comes down to a quite simple solution: own up to them. If you did something that you know your mom would smack you silly for, like getting sick in a friend’s sink or hooking up with someone you shouldn't have, apologize to the person you’ve wronged. It may take some time for your friend to move past it, but if they really care about you, they will. Your friendship should outweigh a drunken night out in the long run, no matter what.

Whatever you do, don’t become one of those rigid, boring assholes that think the fact that they never go out makes them morally superior. Because they’re not. They’re just boring as hell. But do understand that the belief “if I don’t remember it, it didn’t happen,” is completely untrue. Have fun, take advantage of being young, but try to avoid that car accident. And if it does happen, pick yourself up and remember to look both ways next time.

What are your thoughts about the morning after? Share them in the comments below, or @jerkmagazine.