As a native New Yorker, I’ve been bar-hopping since I was a teenager. There were no bonfires in the woods, school dances were a running joke, and house parties weren’t a thing—on account of everyone living in a 550-square-foot apartment. The only option was to get a fake ID and hold your breath as a beefy bouncer looked you up and down every Friday night. Now that I’m a finally legal twenty-one-year-old, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to not vomit all over yourself in a Lyft pool, and avoid a searing hangover.Cinco de Mayo, the nation’s most anticipated drinking holiday—next to Saint Patrick’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday—is on the horizon. If you are usually that person calling it quits at 11pm because you’re drunk out of your mind, then here are some tips for you.

1. Stick to tequila.

Or just any one liquor for that matter. But honestly why wouldn’t you want to drink the national liquor of Mexico on their day of independence? Mixing your lights and darks is a sure fire way to end up with your face in a toilet, so don’t do it.

2. Lay off the pot.

You know what sucks? Getting the spins. That’s what’ll happen if you decide to light up after your three drinks deep. Nothing stings more than having to leave that hottie behind at a bar because you got kicked out for falling over one too many times.

3. Hydrate.

If there’s one piece of advice you take away, please let it be this. After each drink and before you go to bed, chug a glass of water. This will allow your body to rehydrate from all the alcohol draining your soul.

4. Carb it up.

That double cheeseburger you’ve been craving all week? Eat it before you go out. Drinking on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster—the alcohol will have nothing to absorb into, thus leaving you drunk off your heinie after just one drink. According to Spoon University, “the fat in greasy foods sticks to the stomach lining longer, which slows the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream.” Translation: eating pizza before equals a longer night of drinking.

5. Cab home with friends.

Don’t get behind the wheel—DUIs and jeopardizing innocent people’s lives is not cute. Even if you live in a city and are a fifteen-minute walk from home, spend the extra money on a taxi to ensure your safety. Nothing is worse than stumbling back home, only to wake up and realize you dropped your wallet or phone on the way back.

6. Don’t be culturally insensitive.

Cinco de Mayo is a day to honor Mexico’s Independence. Mexico was considered to be a weak country, but against all odds they defeated the French forces and gained their freedom. This is something to be celebrated—but forego the sombreros and think twice before posting a stereotypical picture of you and your friends eating tacos.–Jourdan Espeut’s writing has previously been published on HuffPost. She is currently a student at The New School.

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