Unhealthy Party Habit 4: Not washing your hands in the frat bathroom after using it.
At a frat party, you’re lucky if the boys provide toilet paper in the bathroom, let alone soap and paper towels to wash your hands after you do your business. Forgetting to wash your hands after using the bathroom is bad enough on its own, let alone not washing your hands after using a germ-filled frat bathroom. “Public restrooms, and probably moreover privately operated restrooms are hotbeds of viral and bacterial matter,” says Dr. Starcher. Those germs can easily result in the stomach bug or another internal sickness if you touch your face or mouth.
How to Fix it: Next time you’re heading out to a party, stick some instant hand sanitizer in your bag to stay safe and do your best to avoid touching the germ-filled surfaces in the bathroom.
Unhealthy Party Habit 5: Drinking from a cup of beer during a game of beer pong after the ball has been on the ground and then in your cup.
Much like fraternity bathrooms, floors of parties are disgusting, and usually covered in dirt, dust, stagnant beer, and other unidentified sticky substances. These often come with germs that cause the common cold, the flu, mono, or any other sicknesses that could be floating around your college campus. “Would you eat a piece of gum that you dropped onto the floor, gently rinsed with dirty water and then shook dry?” Dr. Starcher says. “The water does nothing to clean the ball, but that’s not even the worst part of drinking games.” Aside from a germ-filled cup of beer, drinking games usually go hand-in-hand with sharing drinks, which can also spread sickness.
How to Fix it: Before you begin a drinking game, always grab a clean cup that you can drink out of. Instead of filling the 10 beer pong cups with beer, fill them with water and drink a separate cup of beer each time the opposing team lands a cup.
Unhealthy Party Habit 6: Walking in high heels on an icy street.
Sure, you want to look hot for the party, but nobody looks good in a skirt and an ankle cast. Walking in heels on an icy road is a recipe for disaster, and a fall can result in a few cuts and bruises or a trip to the emergency room. “You risk not being able to wear heels for a lot longer than one night if you end up in a cast,” says Dr. Starcher.
How to Fix it: Avoid sprained ankles, broken arms, and embarrassment by carrying your highest heels and throwing on some flats or flat boots for the trek to your final destination. Or just skip the heels entirely and go with a pair of cute boots—you’ll be more comfortable anyway.
Unhealthy Party Habit 7: Making out with a stranger.
Making out and hooking up is part of college culture, but doing it often equals spreading germs and potentially getting sick. “This is a bacterial and viral nightmare,” says Dr. Starcher. Sicknesses like mono, influenza, and the common cold can be spread orally, so making out with anyone who has these germs equals soup and Gatorade come Monday morning. But that’s not the worst of it, says Dr. Starcher: “Just remind yourself of this one fact whenever considering a hormone-fueled game of tonsil hockey with a stranger – Chlamydia can also be spread orally.” Gross.
How to Fix it: Makeouts are unavoidable, and we would never tell you to put the fun of college on hold while you stress out about the germs in your mouth. Next time you kiss someone you don’t really know or someone who could be sick, use a mouthwash like Listerine afterwards to help kill off any germs that are breeding in your mouth.
All these party habits need to be kicked, but some habits need to be eliminated immediately. Here’s how they stack up, starting with the worst.
- Throwing up from drinking once a weekend
- Smoking a cigarette once a week while drinking
- Drinking from a cup of beer during a game of beer pong after the ball has been on the ground and then in your cup.
- Not washing your hands after using the frat bathroom
- Making out with a stranger
- Walking on an icy street in high heels
- Bingeing on food after a night out
Dr. Victor Starcher, Regional Medical Director at MedExpress Urgent Care