Freedom & Independence
September has come and gone, and while we were sad to see the summer coming to an end, this month marked the beginning of many exciting things.
A brand new school year has begun, which can be an exciting time for many new students who have made the move out of their parent’s home and are experiencing the first taste of young adulthood. The new sense of freedom and independence can thrilling and we hope you can enjoy this important milestone in your life. However, remember that the newly found freedom that comes with growing up also comes with some responsibilities.
The most important one of all is to make sure you take care of yourself.
Studies have shown that the highest rates of drug and alcohol use are among young adults aged 18-25. The research indicates that this increased rate of alcohol and drug use is at least in part due to the fact that many individuals this age are experimenting with the loss of rules and monitoring that occurred when living with their parents. However, the research also indicates that individuals during these ages are also experiencing higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression, social isolation, identity confusion, and peer pressure and many young adults may be consuming alcohol and drugs to try and cope with some of these negative feelings.
When individuals use substances to try and cope with feelings they often consume alcohol and drugs in a much more dangerous and reckless manner. For example, they may binge drink, or simply drink much more or faster than intended, which can result in someone becoming intoxicated. Aside from the risk of alcohol poisoning, when someone becomes intoxicated they place themselves at an increased risk for harm.
Alcohol use has been found to be associated with an increased risk of injury, sexual and physical assault, and even death. Furthermore, the hangover or after effects of drinking alcohol can result in missing classes, poor concentration, headaches, fatigue, feelings of anxiety and depression. All of these alcohol-related consequences could have a significant impact on your personal, social, occupational, or academic functioning.
So, we want to congratulate you on entering the world of young adulthood and encourage you to experiment with your own personal boundaries and limitations as a responsible adult. However, we also want to encourage you to take the responsibility of taking care of yourself seriously. Only you are responsible for you so take pride in your health and respect your mind and body.
We want you to succeed in all of your future endeavors so take the Be You Promise today, and commit to leading a safe and healthy life by practicing moderation in the use of alcohol and abstinence in the use of illegal drugs. Your success can only come from you so don’t risk your future by engaging in dangerous substance use.
If you are experiencing a sense of overwhelming stress remember that there are resources in the community and on campus that can help you cope with these feelings in a healthy and safe manner.