Sobriety is a difficult thing to handle, especially when on a college campus. Many students make the mistake of underage drinking and do so in an unsafe and unhealthy way. Unfortunately, these choices can lead to drunk driving and other crimes. If an officer charges you with any crimes related to alcohol or drugs, reach out to Jared Justice—a Clackamas County DUII attorney.
If, however, you want to make sure that doesn’t happen, take a look at these different tips for staying sober and safe in college. You’ll be glad you chose to focus on improving your life and not worrying about the consequences of drinking.
Research School Support Services
Most campuses should have various support services for those who need it. Whether it’s for coping with stress, dealing with your academics, or recovery programs, most schools will have student support systems. Take advantage of these services—these resources can truly help you decompress and stay focused on your goal of staying sober.
Know Your Triggers
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is knowing your triggers. What leads you to binge drink or go too far? Is it the party environment? Is it a particular group of people? Figure out what exactly your triggers are. Once you know them, you’ll be better equipped to avoid or handle them.
Set Boundaries and Stick to Them
Once you determine your triggers, make sure to set boundaries for yourself. Learning to set appropriate boundaries is difficult, but it plays a big role in navigating recovery. If you know that the party environment is a trigger for heavy drinking, set the boundary to never go to those parties. If you know that you drink more when you stay up past midnight, set a goal not to stay up that late. Once you set those boundaries, stick to them no matter what.
Find a Solid Support System
Just like it’s important to take advantage of the different support systems your school has, it’s equally important to find your own individual support group. Many students feel they have to treat their alcohol addiction like a secret, and that’s one of the most inhibiting ways to recover. If you’re in group therapy or you are close to your family and friends, let them know how you’re struggling. Keep these people close—you don’t have to go through it alone.
Practice Saying No
Another important tip for staying sober and safe in college is learning how to say no. Say no to a night out partying, say no to a drink from a stranger—say no to the things you don’t want. The more you practice saying no, the easier it will be to actually say it when it comes to those triggering situations. Volunteer to be the designated driver or keep a nonalcoholic drink in your hands to cut down on those offers.
Seek Out Sober Activities
Whether it’s staying active, focusing on your schoolwork, or joining clubs, seek out sober activities. This will lessen your odds of entering an environment where alcohol is present. Staying active will help reduce the stress and urge to drink, and clubs will distract and help you find joy in things other than alcohol. You’ll be glad for the support system that comes along with joining these activities as well!
College doesn’t have to revolve around alcohol. Take the steps to fill your college experience with joyful memories, true friendship, and exciting activities—you’ll be glad to remember it all.