Modern culture often associates college with crazy parties and heavy substance use. This can seem pretty daunting to someone first entering college who may either be in recovery or simply not interested in engaging in substance use.
These individuals may have fears about not fitting in, being able to make friends, or missing out on the fun aspects of going to college. The truth is that plenty of people go through college without engaging in substance use or drinking alcohol, and there are a lot of benefits to abstaining.
It can be helpful to prepare yourself ahead of time to experience college sober. This may involve seeking out sober friends and looking into college activities that will be a good fit for you.
Make Connections Ahead of Time
You'll have plenty of opportunities to make friends when you get to college, but why wait to make connections when you could start now? Many colleges have Facebook groups for incoming freshmen. The summer before college, many people use these groups to find roommates, introduce themselves to their future classmates and find people they share things in common with.
Take advantage of this resource by messaging different people with whom you think you may share similar values or interests and introducing yourself. You may find someone who is also sober or simply not into the party scene. You can then get to know them before meeting them face to face.
It can be very comforting to start your college experience knowing that you have someone in your corner that you trust and can spend time with. Slowly, you can begin the process of building a group of sober friends that you can hang out with at school.
Look Into Clubs and Activities
If you go to your college or university's website, you're bound to find plenty of groups, clubs, and other activities that you'll have the chance to be a part of on campus. This can include sports, religious groups, book clubs, study groups, exercise programs, and more.
Make a list of each group you want to look into when you get to campus. These groups can help you connect with like-minded people who share your passions. In addition, these groups can offer many fun sober activities that you can take part in without going out partying.
Prepare for Peer Pressure but Don't Fear It
Unfortunately, not everyone in college has reached a level of high maturity. You may find yourself in a social situation where someone tries to peer pressure you into drinking or using drugs or even mocks you for being sober. If this happens, stay strong in your dedication to your sobriety, and don't be afraid to remove yourself from the situation.
You don't have to drink or partake in substance use to have fun in college, and if someone around you doesn't respect your sobriety, then they are not someone you should be spending your time with. Remember, people with true confidence and values understand that making fun of someone for not drinking or using drugs is a sign of immaturity and disrespect.
The Benefits of Enjoying College Sober
Examining the many benefits of enjoying a sober college experience can further strengthen your conviction to stick to your recovery journey during this time. Some of the many benefits include:
- You won't have to worry about feeling hungover a day after partying.
- You'll be able to make more authentic, valuable connections with others while sober.
- You'll have much more time not only for your studies but to do things that you truly enjoy and that make you happy.
- You'll feel better overall, both mentally and physically.
- You don't have to worry about doing something you regret or embarrassing yourself while under the influence of alcohol or substances.
- You'll be less likely to gain the famous "Freshmen 15" since you won't be taking in the empty calories and sugars associated with alcohol.
- You'll be less likely to risk being taken advantage of or putting yourself in a dangerous position due to clouded awareness.
- You'll have a greater sense of focus and the ability to pay attention during your classes.
- You'll likely have better grades.
- You'll have better quality sleep.
- You'll be able to remember the fun times you experienced in college instead of having only clouded, spotty memories.
- The time you spend with friends will be more high quality, and you'll get to know them on a deeper, more meaningful level by spending time with them sober instead of under the influence.
A lot of people associate college with crazy parties and heavy substance use. But if you're in recovery or simply not into that scene, it is not only possible but ideal to experience college sober. It can help to prepare yourself ahead of time by making connections with people that you'll be going to school with that share similar values and interests as you do. It can also help to make a list of groups, clubs, or activities on campus that you're interested in and think that you'll enjoy. Prepare for peer pressure but don't fear it. Instead, dedicate yourself to your sobriety. There are so many benefits to experiencing college sober. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, our team at The Ho Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today to learn more about the different types of services that we provide.