By Jeremy Reed

As the alarm clock goes off, you slowly fight the urge to keep your blood-shot, burning eyes closed. Motivated only by your throbbing head and the dried-up taste of sin in your mouth, you get up to start your day with a feeling of complete nauseous regret. Hangovers in college are just about as standard as fleas on a dog. Aside from the obvious unfortunate aftermath presented after a night of drinking, the addition of waking up early and going to class makes the whole ordeal nearly unbearable.

Although there are over-the-counter supplements that claim to work and other so-called home remedies floating around in cyber space, the average student doesn’t always prepare his or herself to fight the “creature” to any great extent. So what can you do to minimize the effects while trying to make it through your morning?

First, it should be noted that the only way to completely combat a hangover is to take it easy or not even drink at all. But how much fun is that? Nobody brags about how much they can’t drink or how sober they got last night. For whatever reason, there’s a culture within the college society that loves to drink.

So if this is you, sobriety is clearly not the answer.

A good pre-emptive strike to battle the side effects of the blackout blues is to fill yourself with food to absorb all that alcohol. Unfortunately, when we drink we want nothing but the greasiest, heaviest and demobilizing food we can find. As tasty and healing as it may seem the night before, the very elements that cause shame and regret within the human body are baked right into late-night delicacies like Krystal sliders and Waffle House hash browns.

Another misconception is that taking Tylenol before going to sleep after a night out on the town holds the key to the hang over cure. While this may help minimize the feelings of nausea and throbbing, it doesn’t seem to sound like a safe mix for your liver. Being no medical professional myself, I can’t say one way or the other on the matter. But I can say with confidence, “Bring on the hangover; I’d rather not risk my liver looking like Morgan Freeman by the time I graduate.”

After much trial and failure and even the good ole American deal-with-it-ness, I was introduced to a cure that seems to work. Lots of water before bed, a small bag of crunchy Cheetos and a 12-ounce Coke when you wake.

I know it sounds more like the breakfast of Cheech and Chong than of champions, but it really seems to work for me, and I encourage you to try it too. It’s lighter than the late-night gut busters that line the by-pass, I don’t have to limit myself and when it comes down to it, I’ll take orange fingertips over a black liver any day.