Getting drunk is practically a rite of passage for many incoming freshmen. After all, what better way to meet your new classmates than by getting blitzed?
But for some students, getting wasted isn’t just an exciting social experiment – it’s a dangerous trap. College is a time when young adults are still learning how to balance their social life with other responsibilities like schoolwork, jobs and volunteer work. For those who struggle with alcoholism, this delicate balance can be especially precarious. The high pressure social scene of college only makes things more challenging, and as a result, many students struggle to stay sober in college. But is that really necessary? Do you have to get wasted in order to have fun in college?
If you’re reading this right now, it means that you have decided to get sober while still attending college. Good for you! It isn’t easy staying sober in college; there are parties every night of the week, and your new friends will want to go out with you almost every night. They might even be disappointed if you say no the first few times they ask. So staying sober in college is going to require some planning, self-discipline, and maybe even a little help from your new sober friends. But trust us, it’s possible! Sober living homes can support college students as they recover from addiction. This article explores other tools, resources, and strategies for staying sober and pursuing recovery while succeeding in college.
Move into a sober dorm
If you’re able to find a roommate who is in recovery and is looking for a sober roommate, then this may be one of the easiest ways to stay sober in college. Some colleges even have designated sober dorms for people in recovery. If you go to a school where this is a possibility, you’re lucky! You can just move into a sober dorm and not worry about finding other sober college students. A sober dorm is a great way to stay connected to other people in recovery, and it is also a great way to be accountable for yourself. However, even if you do not have an official sober dorm, you can communicate with your roommates and set rules for your dorm, such as a “no drinking” policy. This can help you avoid temptation and also create a positive environment for other people.
Have a plan for nights out
Just because you’re sober doesn’t mean you can’t have a thriving social life in college. Some people find, though, that it can be really hard to stay sober when you have to turn down alcohol every single time. Therefore, you may want to create a plan for nights out. You can say something like, “I love going out with you guys, but I just don’t drink alcohol.” Then you can offer to go out with them and have fun without using alcohol. Some people recovering from addiction choose to avoid all drugs, even drugs like weed and caffeine. If this is your choice, you can still get involved in a lot of social activities with your sober friends. You can go to concerts, sports events, or museums. You can just make sure that you aren’t drinking or doing drugs at these places.
Set boundaries for your friends
Your friends are the people you are spending your time with most often in college. Therefore, these are the people who can be most supportive in helping you stay sober in college. However, if you don’t tell your friends that being around alcohol or drugs is triggering for you, then they may not know that they are hurting you. Your friends may just want to help you fit in. If you tell them that drugs and alcohol are something that you are trying to avoid at all costs, they will probably understand and respect that. They may even be able to help in other ways, like finding sober events to go to or just visiting other sober people on campus.
Don’t try to run from your cravings
Cravings are normal while you are in recovery. However, if you try to run from them, they will come back stronger. Cravings are like waves. They come at you and then they go away again. Your job is to let them come and let them go. You may have heard that you should distract yourself when you feel like cravings are coming. That can be good, but it can also be bad. If you try to distract yourself from cravings too much, then you can get too distracted from the real things you need to do in life. Therefore, try to be mindful of your cravings. Deal with them, do not run from them.
Take care of yourself physically and mentally
In order to stay sober, you need to make sure that your body is healthy and your mind is in balance. Your body may crave alcohol or drugs because it needs something. Therefore, you can make sure that you are taking care of yourself physically by getting enough vitamins and nutrients in your diet. You can also exercise regularly by joining a college sports team or meetup. This can help you release endorphins and be in a better mood. It can also strengthen your willpower. Emerging research has shown that exercise is a viable treatment for addiction. Best of all, it’s a great way to make friends in college without having to drink or do drugs.
Your mind can also get you into trouble. It is really easy to start obsessing over what you are doing wrong and what you should be doing better. Sometimes it is good to just focus on one thing at a time and do it as well as you can. This is a good way to keep your mind from spiraling out of control and taking you into a dark place where you will stay stuck.
Go to support groups and find a sponsor
Find a 12-step group like AA, NA, or a non-12 step support group for people in recovery, and go to it regularly. You can also find a sponsor who can help guide you on your journey to recovery. A sponsor can be someone in your support group, or you can find a sponsor online. Having someone who can guide you through this process can be a huge help. This is someone who has already been where you are. They can offer you advice, encouragement, and reassurance that you are doing the right things. They can help you navigate temptations and challenges that are common for people in recovery. Having a support system and a sponsor will help you stay accountable for your actions and keep yourself on the right path.
College Students Can Recover from Addiction at Sober Living East
If you are looking for a way to stay sober in college and make sure that you have everything you need, consider checking out Sober Living East. This is a sober living house for college students. If you move into Sober Living East, you are going to meet other students in recovery. You will be able to go to support groups together and be part of a sober community. You will also have an abundance of sober college resources at your fingertips. No matter how difficult it is to stay sober while attending college, it can be done. You just need to be smart, disciplined, and willing to ask for help.