Living the Collegiate Life in Recovery
Entering life as a new student can be daunting. Whether you attend a small college or a large university with a campus the size of a small city, for many it can be an intimidating change of lifestyle, with new peers, a diverse social scene, and different social expectations.
Being in recovery from substance misuse has a complex set of problems and challenges of its own. Navigating the collegiate social scene when you are an individual in recovery is something that can cause anxiety and appear to be completely overwhelming at best, seemingly impossible at worst. This can seem especially true if the college you are attending is a “party school”, where the temptations to drink and party appear to be everywhere. However, don’t let the stereotype of a drug and alcohol fueled social scene dissuade you from going to college, and enjoying life as a college student. Living the collegiate life in recovery is something you can certainly achieve, and enjoy yourself doing it.
Finding Peers that Relate
While it may seem that way at times, especially during events where partying seems like the central purpose, like homecoming, not everybody on your college campus is drinking or using drugs. Step one to living a college life in recovery that you feel comfortable with and enjoy is finding like-minded peers. Investigate whether there are any recovery groups that meet on campus, and find some new friends who understand what you are going through, and will help you avoid temptation.
Develop a routine for recovery in college similar to one you had at home. Whether that was monthly or weekly meetings, or a daily phone call with a mentor or friend who encourages your recovery, find a way to replicate that on campus. It can be tempting to blow off meetings and your recovery process to hang out with new friends and explore your surroundings, but you should set up a confident base for your recovery right from the start.
Colleges are teeming with clubs and activity groups – find healthy minded clubs that will allow you to meet new people, live a healthy lifestyle, and steer clear of the temptations of drugs and alcohol. From Yoga classes to hiking clubs, intramural athletics or Frisbee golf groups, there are a plethora of options to choose from on campus that will get you moving, and get you engaged with campus life without having to be around illicit substances.
Know Your Limits
It is important to your collegiate life that you get involved in campus events, make new friends and immerse yourself in the university lifestyle. However, understand where you are in your own recovery and what you can and can’t handle. Bars and fraternity parties are obvious trouble spots to steer clear of, but if you find the temptation too great at things like football games or group outings that have drugs or alcohol present, find an excuse to leave. Your success in recovery is the most important thing, and it can be damaging to both your recovery and mental health to put yourself in situations where you don’t feel comfortable, or start to feel tempted. Peer pressure is real, even if it is only perceived and nobody is actively asking you to drink or do drugs. The desire to fit in can be difficult to ignore, so try to put yourself in situations and around people where your sobriety will not be in danger.
Living Your Best College Life
While it can be easy to get sucked into the whirlwind that is collegiate life, remember, the reason you are attending college is the same reason you are in recovery – so you can live your best life. You are building a better, healthier future by getting your degree and recovering from substance misuse. What you do now is laying the groundwork for the rest of your life. Keep that in mind to put in perspective things that might upset you because you feel like you are missing out – in the grand scheme of things, missing a sporting event or avoiding a party will not have a long-term effect on your life. Resisting temptation, sticking with your recovery and doing well in class is what is setting you up for your future.
Contact Us Today
To learn more about Life of Purpose, the first primary treatment facility on a college campus in the United States, please contact us at 1-888-787-7673, or visit our website: www.lifeofpurposetreatment.com