Among college students, alcohol consumption is rampant. Many students see it as a rite of passage or a way to fit in. They are constantly under pressure to succeed, and sometimes that pressure can lead to heavy drinking.
The US ranks 4th in terms of the number of people who have alcohol use disorders globally, so it’s important that firm boundaries with alcohol are set at a young age to prevent future drinking problems.
Studies have shown that alcohol consumption can impair academic performance, which can drastically affect the future of students. But how can they find ways to reduce or abstain from drinking?
1. Get Involved In Activities That Don’t Involve Alcohol
To support sobriety, you should try to start participating in activities that do not involve alcoholic beverages.
Joining a club or attending events where alcohol isn’t served means there are other options for meeting new people without having to worry about what they’re drinking.
2. Spend Time With Friends Who Don’t Drink
Getting involved with a group that doesn’t drink at all is the best way to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink. Many college students find that only hanging out with people when they are drunk can be very isolating.
Growing and maintaining friendships away from house parties and college events is a great way to enrich your social experience. You can also find support online in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or by connecting with another sober person through social media.
It may seem like you have fewer options when it comes to choosing your circle of friends while maintaining sobriety, but this is far from the truth. In fact, surveys are showing that nearly 30% of young people in college have reported that they don’t drink at all.
3. Find Other Ways to Relax and Relieve Stress
Alcohol isn’t the only way to relieve your stress. There are many other ways that will have you feeling better and healthier in no time, such as exercising or practicing yoga.
Here is a list of activities that can help you to reduce stress:
- Write in a journal
- Get some fresh air and take deep breaths outside
- Go for a bike ride or jog
- Talk with your loved ones about what is bothering you
- Meditate to clear your mind of all thoughts and worries
4. Say “No” to Peer Pressure
People are sometimes coerced into drinking or doing drugs when they do not want to. Remember that you have the right to reject, and you are not required to give anyone a justification for not drinking.
You should only drink when it is suitable and when you want to. You can always say “No, thank you” or “I’m not in the mood to drink today.”
Remember that declining doesn’t mean you are being rude.
5. Know Your Limits
Drinking too much may cause a slew of issues, so it’s critical to know when to cut back. Knowing your boundaries and understanding how alcohol affects your own body are the greatest ways to do this.
If you’re drinking, make sure someone understands what your limit is so they can keep an eye on you. If you know you’re prone to going ‘over the top,’ limit the number of drinks that you let yourself have.
According to the latest US dietary guidelines around moderate drinking, women should only consume 1 alcoholic drink or less in a day, and men should consume 2 alcoholic drinks or less per day.
6. Educate Yourself
It is critical to understand the consequences of alcohol usage and how it affects your mind. Alcohol intake is really damaging to your brain.
If you are concerned about the influence alcohol has on your mental health, it may be time to stop drinking or reduce how frequently and how much you drink.
If you are concerned about any specific health issues that may influence you or someone close to you as a result of excessive drinking, speak with an addiction specialist who can help guide your decisions.
Look After Your Body and Mind
Understanding how alcohol affects your brain and body is essential to making healthy decisions about what you drink.
Drinking a glass of wine every so often may not be too bad but it can quickly spiral out of control if left unchecked.
Although drinking is seen as part of the college experience, it can greatly disrupt your learning and your future prospects.
Stopping drinking completely can transform your time at college – from helping you to get healthier, to giving you more time and financial freedom.