You did it. You made it to college. You’re probably thinking about all the freedom you’ll have, and the friends you’ll make. You might be scared to death of your new adventure, but you’re ready to take it anyway.
Yes, you might have heard about all the parties, and all the substance abuse that goes on in so many schools, but that’s not on your mind. Lots of kids just like you don’t go to college for the parties, and they really have no intention of becoming a statistic when it comes to drug an alcohol abuse. Lots of kids just like you figure they made it through high school without using or drinking themselves into oblivion, they have no plans to get started now.
This is a great attitude, and if you’ve got it, you might be interested to know that lots of people just like you are looking for tips for staying sober in college.
- Choose your friends wisely. Most of the time, when we get started in college, we make friends with our room mates or other people living in our dorm. We might also make friends with people that are in our classes. If you want to ensure that you don’t get caught up in the many situations that can make us want to drink or get high, it’s really important to choose your friends wisely. When you spend time and find that your new “best friend,” is engaging in drug use or drinking too much, it’s going to be tempting to let it go, but that can expose you to all kinds of temptation. So, do away with it before it starts and be selective with who you hang out with.
- Stay active. Surprisingly, many college aged adults report that part of the reason they start drinking or using is because everyone else does, and they’re bored. Stay active. Studies show that physical activity might actually help to prevent binge alcohol and drug use. Why? Without getting too complicated, it helps to increase the level of mood boosting hormones, and many of us choose to start using or drinking because of certain types of unhappiness that might occur in life.
- Get involved in something. Studies show that teens who were involved in team sports were as much as 22 percent less likely to engage in using substances. College is big. It’s huge. There are tons of people doing all kinds of things. It’s the experience you were looking for, but if you don’t find something to get involved in, you run the risk of feeling lost and lonely. This can lead us to do things that we might not otherwise to feel like we fit in.
- Stay rested. There is no denying that college, the work and exams, can be enough to burn anyone out. To fight this, stay rested. If you’re getting the sleep you need, you’re much less likely to use prescription medications to help you perform on these tasks. Stimulant abuse among college students is common, and it’s likely because of the fatigue that can set in during high-demand times of the year. Sleep is essential in solid mental performance, so make sure that you’re getting enough.
- If you think you have a problem, seek help. The bottom line is that sometimes, addictions can really creep up on us. If you think you have any kind of addiction, seek treatment. There is no shame in going to an alcohol rehab to solve a problem that has gotten out of control. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can get back to normal.
College is a time to enjoy, learn a ton, and become a better, more mature version of yourself. This is the time when the habits you establish can start following you around for a long time. Make the most of your experiences, but apply these tips, and some of your own, to help you stay sober and still enjoy your college experience.