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March 25, 2008

I Know When to Say When…Once Puke’s Involved

A Codependent Collegian Guest Editorial
by Victoria Swanson, James Madison University Class of 2009

Swanson: Keeps Her Excesses in Check

College is a time of experimentation when young people experiment with new things and try to figure out who they are. Often this leads to extreme partying, where today’s social drinking or casual drug use can quickly become tomorrow’s substance abuse. That’s why I follow the motto “know when to say when” as soon as puke’s involved.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m in school to earn good grades and eventually complete my degree plan. So if I have a major exam in biology, say, at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday, I know the night before needs to be spent making flashcards and reviewing my lecture notes. Well, until Bethany finishes the jello shooters and the Kappa guys come over and we play a few dozen rounds of peer pong. But at the first sign of vomit—and I’m very strict about this—I put myself to bed, even if it’s only 3 a.m. and the party is still going strong.

And being a woman of conviction, I follow this same policy on the weekends, too. If Ashley happens to land some high-quality Argentinean blow, and I ralph up an omelet Sunday morning after a 48-hour club-hop which may or may not have involved giving a bouncer a back-alley handjob, I know it’s time for some undisturbed rest and recuperation.

Sure, my peers may mock the fact that I’m a “lightweight,” or that I don’t “puke and pound” like many disciplined partiers, but I’ve worked too hard to let my education take a backseat. That’s why as soon as the vodka, diet pills, and stomach acid splatter my dorm carpet with the force of a volcano, I know it’s time to “say when” like a reasonable adult.

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