For most freshmen arriving on campus for the first time, college means one thing: BOOZE. After 18 long years of being watched over by nervous parents, freshmen are ready to escape the confines of their hometowns and find their first college party.

Little do they know, drinking in college comes with a specific set of rules to abide by. Long gone are the days of sneaking weird liquor from their parents’ cabinets and throwing parties in suburban basements. College is a brand new playing field, which is something that I learned very quickly two years ago when I first arrived on campus.

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to figure out some of the most important pearls of wisdom when it comes to hard liquor consumption. Now, I’m gonna share them with ya.

1. Thou Shall Not Buy Russe or Vlad

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This one will come as no surprise to upperclassmen. Whatever cheap brand of vodka you had to guzzle at your first college party, it should NEVER be your go-to bottle. Don’t let the cheap price tag fool you, because this stuff is about as good as drinking plain old ethanol.

2. Thou Shall Always Use a Chaser

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I don’t care if you think you look cool by not chasing after shots, ’cause we all know that one burned your throat. Suck up your pride and swig something after you take a shot. It makes the whole thing much more painless.

3. Thou Shall Embrace Drinking from the Bottle

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You’re in college. Sh*t happens. Whether it be an outdoor day drink or simply forgetting to clean your shot glasses from the night before, there will come a time when you’ll need to gulp from the bottle. Don’t get grossed out. Just go for it.

4. Thou Shall Love the Pregame

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Though some of us don’t like to admit it, usually the pregame is more fun than the actual party. Don’t ask why, just believe us. Embrace the time to hang out with your best friends, dance like idiots to ridiculous throwbacks, and come up with ridiculous toasts for the evening. Speaking of the pregame…

5. Thou Shall Never Pregame with Tequila. Ever.

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This one doesn’t even require an explanation. Just don’t do it. You’ll thank me later.

6. Thou Shall Pace Thy Shots

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This one is purely for safety and health. Pace yourself when taking shots and remember to hydrate. You don’t want to be bent over the toilet all night or make a fool of yourself in public. Repeat after me: Shot. Rest. Water. Shot.

7. Thou Shall Always Buy the Handle Instead of the Fifth

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After showing up to parties with little to no alcohol left, I’ve learned that being unprepared sucks. If you’re debating between getting a handle or fifth for the weekend, always go for the handle. Chances are, it will last you 2 or 3 nights out.

8. Thou Shall Always Accept the Free Shot

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Unless it is from that creepy 50-year-old man at the bar. Don’t take that.