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Post Column: Columnist makes decision to go beyond the buzz

Three years of my college experience at OU and all I can say is: time sure does fly.

I go by Phil Morehead and I’m a senior health services administration major. I’ve dabbled with The Post throughout my three amazing years at this university but seeing how it’s my last year here, I figured I would share some of my experiences at the Harvard on the Hocking.

What pushed me to return to The Post? Well, a little back-story is necessary. I am the self-proclaimed “Van Wilder” of OU. I love going uptown, attending fests, throwing house parties…the works. Most places don’t card me anymore because I’m a regular. And for three solid years, I didn’t see any sort of health repercussions. I was living the dream.

Is that a 16 ounce solo cup? A standard beer is 12 ounces? Whatever; top me off, bro. I felt like nothing bad could happen because that’s what every college kid indulges in. My roommates and I hit the bars most nights of the week and were seemingly in paradise.

This all changed this summer when I found out that my larger-than-life alter ego had taken a toll on my overall health. I’m 22 and now have borderline high blood pressure and esophagus damage and have to avoid alcohol for several months.

A profound moment of horror opened my eyes to what I was actually doing to my body by consistently binge drinking. I awoke in the early morning to find acid in my throat. Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to realize that I needed medical intervention. After some extensive digestive diagnostics, I found out that it all came back to my binge drinking.

My morning routine now consists of popping various medications in order to both maintain my poor blood pressure and alleviate the strain I have self-inflicted upon my esophagus. I take five pills a day and will continue to do so for the next few months.

Now, I’m not here for anyone’s pity. My friends all know I’m still at the bars posted up, whistling at the ladies. However, I’ve added the best vocabulary word to my repertoire: moderation. That word has never meant more to me.

I want to show you that there is such a thing as “healthy partying.” This includes much more than avoiding the alluring keg stands. It also includes social health, particularly when it comes to members of the opposite sex (don’t worry, I got you covered on that too). College is a great time to enjoy yourself. So go out and meet new people. In the midst of classes, events, and parties, you may feel invincible. Hell, I did. But the truth is that you are not. If you’re looking for tips on how to be in the social scene of OU without ending up feeling like you’re in your mid-fifties at the start of your senior year, I’m your guy. Because you honestly don’t want to have a buzz kill right before your senior year starts.


Phil Morehead is a senior studying health services administration and a columnist for The Post. Have you partied too hard in the past? Email him at

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