CollegeCandy’s recent roundup of “the ten most annoying people at the bar” made me laugh, but it also made me sort of ashamed to realize that one or two of those people have totally been me. So how can you keep from ending up a “woo girl,” sloppy dancer, or martini spiller? This might help:

  • Eat. Even if you go out straight from work and think you don’t have time to go home and grab dinner, eat something. Preferably something with carbs in it. I will pick up a bagel and eat it plain if I have to. Having bread in my stomach helps me soak up the booze, and it keeps me from getting drunk too quickly.
  • Have a safe word. If you’re going out with your girlfriends, agree ahead of time on a code word that you can use with each other if one of you is getting too sloppy or doing something embarrassing.
  • Switch it up. After each alcoholic beverage, drink a glass of water. It’ll keep you from getting dehydrated or too hammered.
  • Update your phone. Do you always drunk dial your ex and start crying into his voicemail? Delete his number, or replace it with something like the Time and Temperature hotline. Make it less likely you’ll do something you’ll regret.
  • Don’t mix. Ever heard the expression “beer then liquor, never been sicker”? It exists for a reason. Stick with the same drink the whole night and you’re less likely to blow chunks.
  • Head home early. If you’re already drunk, the best thing you can do is try to sleep it off. If you’re drunk by 8 PM, head home ASAP and see if you can pull it together in the morning.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, do tequila shots. I cannot overemphasize this point enough.