Classes registered for- ✅, books purchased – ✅, dorm room decorations bought – ✅, and those overly long sheets paid for – ✅. For many new and returning students it’s the start of the new academic semester. Freshman year of college is one of the most exciting times in our children’s lives. Dropping your son or daughter off at school is an emotional and scary time for parents and students alike. The transition to independence comes with new academic and social responsibilities along with the freedom of living away from home. One such freedom is the exposure to underage drinking and binge drinking. At Our Urgent Care we believe that it is important to talk to your child about the realities of underage drinking that can be a part of campus life. We firmly stress that candid conversations will lead to better outcomes for all.
Here are the essential actions that you need to take as a parent.
- Do not wait until it is too late. Start the conversation before your child is on campus. Research has shown that the first six weeks on campus are the most crucial in a student’s desire to initiate or increase alcohol use.
- Take time to read the school’s alcohol use policy along with your child. Many students know the risks of drinking on their personal life but may not be aware of the legal or academic consequences associated with drinking.
- Keep the conversation going. It is important to check in on your child, but even more so in the crucial first six weeks of school. You cannot expect this to be a one and done conversation and have long term success. You should revisit it throughout the year.
- Reach out if you need help with this issue. Your student’s college will have resources to help you navigate their first year at school. While some parents might feel that it is embarrassing to ask for help, it is important to know that there is nothing wrong with seeking assistant to assure your son or daughter is healthy and successful at school.
If you are at a loss for how to start the conversation or need some statistics, check out these links.
- Talking to Your College Bound Young Adult about Alcohol.
- College Drinking – Changing the Culture.
- Talking with College Students About Alcohol.
Our children, no matter what age, are our greatest gift. While we want them to become independent, we must acknowledge that no matter how old they are, having parental guidance is a necessity during times of growth and transition, such as the first year at college.