It’s one of the most exciting, anticipated times of summer. College students are beginning to pack up and get ready to arrive on their college campuses. It’s an awesome time to be on college campuses - vibrant, lively, and full of energy. Students will be meeting new and old friends, figuring out the buildings where classes are held, and attending informative orientation programs. It’s easy to get caught up in the momentum and energy of the start of the fall semester.
During my appearance on The Price of Business radio show, we discussed the significance of college social choices.
In every college semester, a critical aspect of student success and fulfillment concerns students’ healthy social choices however, college students often minimize the potential impact their social choices can have on academic performance, personal life, and career goals.
This occurs in particular with choices associated with alcohol use.
In my 15 years of working on college campuses, I assessed, counseled, and discussed the risks associated with alcohol and other drugs with thousands of students. And watched some poor choices turn into mandated counseling, fines, legal charges, hospitalization, suspension, expulsion, development of further addiction, and referral to rehabilitation programs.
Did you know approximately 25% of college students reported falling behind, missing class, doing poorly on papers and exams and receiving low grades as a result of drinking?
And about 90% of alcohol consumed by underage drinkers is in the form of binge drinking?
In 2013 there were nearly 40,000 arrests and 165,000 disciplinary actions related to alcohol and other drugs (AOD) on college campuses.
Source: ProjectKnow.com (take a look)
Additionally, many colleges have a slew of resources when making the wrong choices, including a designated Alcohol & Other Drugs (AOD) Coordinator on staff providing assessments, educational programming, and counseling for AOD related concerns and violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Usually this professional works in either your school’s Counseling Center or in Health Services. These are excellent outlet to seek out.
As you head to college, be aware of your social choices, and the impact on all aspects of your college experience & future.
10 things to keep in mind with alcohol:
1. The number of drinks consumed in an hour is a key factor to the effects of alcohol! If you choose to drink limit yourself to 1 per hour and drink water in-between.
2. Note that one of the first functions that becomes quickly impaired with excessive drinking is the ability to make sound social choices. The more you consume, the worse it gets.
3. Consider your motive for drinking? If your answer is: “To get drunk” or some other version of this statement; “Everybody is drinking”; “I’m stressed,” “depressed,” or “anxious” you may be setting yourself up for drinking to excess and aversive consequences.
4. Note the momentum of the social scene. Take care not to get caught up in momentum, especially when you are being mindful of #1.
5. Your blood alcohol content (BAC) continues to rise even when you stop drinking. Take action and stick to #1.
6. Know your “Green Zone!!” This is your BAC ZONE and it’s based on height, weight, and gender. Check out www.baczone.com for details and download the free App onto your smartphone for easy reference.
7. If you are taking medication for anxiety and/or depression they are likely to enhance the effects of alcohol sooner than expected. This means judgement becomes compromised sooner too.
8. Your friends have good reasons for declining shots of alcohol - respect their choices.
9. NOT EVERYONE on your campus drinks alcohol, gets drunk, or experiences blackouts. This is a MYTH.
10. Stick together with friends and commit to #1, #4, #6, #8!
Remember, I am always a phone call, email or IM away. If you get in trouble, reach out. I'll be there to help.