Student Success Strategy #73: And finally, random advice!

A few last bits of advice from my students, who often wrote just one line of advice or information.

“Never underestimate the wrath of a roommate who didn’t get a date.”

“Homecoming events include lots of free stuff.”

“Go to the football games for the tailgate parties.  Then skip the games.”

“Carry an umbrella and a plastic bag with you to protect your books.”

“Carry your ID everywhere.”

“Your legs will stick to the chair if your shorts are too short.”

“If you find a parking space, never leave.”

“Offer to pay for some of the gas rather than driving your car.  The driver will appreciate it and you don’t risk having your car trashed.”

“Don’t leave a drunk friend alone, even if you have to leave the party early.”

“Bring lots of underwear and you can avoid laundry until Mom comes to visit.”

“Don’t drink things you don’t like.  If it’s something you need to ‘develop a taste for’ then either don’t drink it or admit you just want to get drunk.”

“Drinking games are more fun for the spectators than the drinkers.”

“Decide what you want your spring break to be.  If it’s a vacation, don’t take any books home with you.  If it’s a way to catch up or get ahead on assignments, don’t waste all your time sleeping or partying with your old friends.  If you want to do something completely different, look into the Alternative Spring Break volunteer programs.”

Student Success Strategy #73:  Listen to random advice from former students.  

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Student Success Strategy #61: If You Need It

You spent the long weekend at college rather than going home to see your high school friends, and you found a wild party just off campus.  They didn’t care that you were underage, and the beer just kept flowing into  your glass, and somehow disappearing out of it.

You thought about asking for a ride home, knowing that you couldn’t drive yourself, but you didn’t want to seem lame to your new friends.  They were cool, they were energetic, they knew their way around campus and possibly, just possibly, could make you a little cooler too.  A few parties like this, and you’d be part of the fun crowd .

Maybe you saw yourself hanging with them at the football game, even if they never mentioned football.  Or dancing and drinking at the hot spots in town.  Or going to the great concerts coming to campus later this fall.  You certainly didn’t want to seem like a lightweight, so you just slowed down your drinking.

A few hours later, you found yourself in the bedroom, clothes tangled, and one of the hosts was urging you to relax, telling you that you were hot, so beautiful, so exciting.  You might have not wanted to have sex, but with his urging and your tiredness from a long night and, of course, a few beers, it was just too hard to convince him that you meant no.  Or he wasn’t listening at all.  Or maybe it was too late to even tell him to stop.  You really didn’t want to stop anyway.  It felt good.  If you weren’t a virgin, what is the big deal?  How could he know all the thoughts in your head?

How do you feel today?  Are you okay with what happened, or do you have regrets?  Do you have anger?  Depression?

Legally, there are several choices to make.  We’ll discuss those at another time.

Take care of you first.  Do you need to see a doctor?  A counselor?  A victim advocate?  Any of these professionals can help you work through your feelings and help you determine whether you need to take any further actions.

Check with your Student Health Center, Counseling Center, or the Police (where many victim advocates work from, although they do NOT report to the police and do NOT give the police information without your consent except in the case of child or elder abuse).   You can do this at any time, even months afterward, if you need to talk about your experience without getting judged.

Student Success Strategy #61:  If you need it, get help.  Some situations may bother you now, others later.  Help is available.

Student Success Strategy #40: Alcohol on Campus

Alcohol can be found on almost every college campus.  Not all, as there are a few campuses prohibiting it in any form, although I would guess that at least a few students ignore that rule.

But on (or near) most campuses, you can find alcohol at any party.

What will be your choice?  Think about a few things before you decide:

1.  Are you of legal age to drink?

2.  Are there underage drinkers in the group?  Could you be held responsible for their drinking?

3.  Who will drive after drinking?  Who will be a designated driver?  Is there a campus service for a ride from the party to your room or home?  Do you have enough money for a cab?  Who could you call for a ride?

4.  What rules might you be breaking if you drink, either on or off campus?  Obviously, if you are underage, you are breaking the law as well as campus rules.  But don’t forget things like public drunkenness, disturbing the peace, or disruptive behavior that may be additional violations.

5.  Who might be at risk from drinking?  Is anyone on medications that shouldn’t mix with alcohol?  What will you do if they pass out?

6.  What other risks can you anticipate?  Many who drink make bad decisions about other activities as well.  Will anyone be at risk for rape?  For fighting?

7.  What will you do if the police arrive on scene?

Student Success Strategy #40:  Alcohol on campus.  Be safe.  Make decisions before you drink.