we approach the end of summer, the beginning of another season comes: school.
For college students in particular, a new school year can be especially
stressful. Not only are there books to buy, housing to sort through and moving
to do, but there are also
consider as you prepare for the upcoming classes. Unfortunately at many
universities, this level of stress can lead to one major outcome: binge
the last century, binge drinking has continually been a problem in many U.S.
colleges and universities. In fact, one survey conducted by the National
Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
stated, “Approximately two out of
every five college students of all ages (more than 40%) reported binge drinking
at least once in the two weeks prior.” More severe than leisurely drinking,
binge drinking results in excessive drinking over a short amount of time, with
the intention to get drunk. Not only can it lead to dangerous consequences, but
it can also have major health risks in the long run.
fact, the NIAAA found that of college students aged 18-24, 1,825 die from
alcohol-related injuries every year, and more than 150,000 students will
develop an alcohol-related health problem later on. Statistics like these can
be pretty terrifying, so some college students choose not to participate,
particularly when they are underage. However, life in college can be
challenging when you choose not to take part in the “normative” culture. If you’re
a college student who chooses not to drink, here are some tips for how you can
live a healthy, alcohol-free lifestyle while still in school.
Tell Your Friends
and foremost, if you want to avoid drinking while in college, you will need
people on your side. Be sure to tell your friends about your decision not to
drink alcohol, and ask them to support you whenever you might be in a negative
situation. Explain your reasoning why you choose not to drink, and ask for
is a unique time because you no longer have your parents to hold you
accountable for decisions, so ask your friends to take on some of the
responsibility. If they choose not to drink as well, you can be each other’s
support system. However, if your friends continue to pressure you or not
respect your decision, see if there are others on campus who can support you.
Your friends should care for you enough to support whichever decision you
choose for your own wellbeing.
Find Other Activities
parties might feel like the only thing going on on a college campus. However,
this could not be further from the truth. Universities are busy places, and
there is always something else to do. So if you have a tough time avoiding the
party scene, fill that time with other activities. Stay consistently busy, and
you’ll find you have less and less time to drink. Find other activities on
campus by joining a club or sports team, or see if you can get a committed
group of friends together who hangs out every weekend to stay away from the
Try Alternative Options
you do find yourself at a party—after all, sometimes they
can be fun—why not try alternative options to drink other than
alcohol? Bring your own water bottle and fill it with water, juice or another
beverage you enjoy without alcohol. Or, give non-alcoholic alternatives a try
and bring them with you when you attend a party. Whatever you enjoy, carry it
along so you have something to hold on to drink while others are consuming
alcohol. You might be surprised at how much the simple
atmosphere of a party can give you the euphoria of feeling drunk,
without the actual consequences of it.
importantly, stay firm in your decision not to drink. College can be a
challenging time, full of peer pressure to try things you might not be
comfortable with. However, your decision to live an alcohol-free lifestyle is
your choice—no one else’s. Therefore, stay firm in what you believe and don’t
allow others to pressure you into drinking. If you do find your friends are
consistently pressuring you, see who else you can surround yourself with to
support your decision.
the end of summer just around the corner, college is quickly approaching, and
with it, the season of binge drinking. If you choose to live an alcohol-free
lifestyle while in college, try out some of these tips as you head back for the
semester. College is a time full of growth and new discoveries, so find out how
you can live your happiest and best life without the influence of alcohol.