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Here are 7 Tips to Enjoy College without Substances

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The third week of every October is recognized as National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW). Binge drinking and substance use are widespread among college campuses due to peer pressure, stress, social anxiety, boredom, and loneliness. What are the solutions to this problem? The following article describes seven tips to make college as fun and fulfilling as possible without alcohol or drugs.

1. Have A Work Study Job/Internship

Why spend money on alcohol, illicit substances, and possible legal fees/fines when you can make money? Employment is an excellent way to pass the time in college. The more closely related your job or internship is to your academic major, the better off you will be.

Furthermore, a work-study position or internship grants hands-on experience that is conducive to career development. It would look great on your resume. A work-study job could clarify your niche for undergraduates considering changing academic concentration or unsure which college major to select.

2. Join Athletic Groups

Take advantage of the amenities available for free at your college campus. During my freshman year of undergraduate college, I was in excellent shape, regardless of not being a student-athlete after high school. I ran on the indoor track, was a member of the campus Yoga Club, played racquetball and volleyball in the Recreation Center, threw a football and frisbee around with friends outside of the dorms, participated in intramural flag football and tennis; lifted weights in the fitness center, and taught/took fitness classes such as Zumba, Boot Camp, spinning, Muay Thai kickboxing, pilates, and yoga.

Be a student-athlete if your heart desires! I was a student-athlete in High School and regret not being a track and field student-athlete in college. The more involved with sports in school I was, the better my academic performance. I believe I would have been that much more disciplined and a serious student than I already was while making friends on the team. Learn from me and pursue athleticism at the collegiate division or intramural level without any regrets. 

3. Connect with a Higher Power

No matter whether you worship a higher power in a church, chapel, synagogue, mosque, or temple, there are campus groups and individuals that share your belief system. Faith-based groups and activities are excellent means to meet new people and have fun without worrying over your safety, health, and freedom. Spiritual health, liberation, and protection are enhanced. I am actively involved with the Adelphi University Interfaith Council as a graduate student. We have metaphysical discussions that catapult my spiritual and mental development.  

In addition, I am also a part of the Nutrition Outreach team to combat Food Insecurity through belief systems. My college wisdom has inspired me to write my first book God + Music = Joy! I encourage you to read my short, inspiring, and inexpensive book to enhance happiness through God with more relatable, contemporary, and less judgmental music genres such as reggae, bubblegum pop, rock and roll, rap, hip hop, and rhythm & blues. It’s no New York Times Bestseller or a Pulitzer Prize-winning work of literature, but it boosts my own self-esteem and mood overall.  

4. Join an Academic Club

Academic clubs are an excellent means to meet like-minded peers, potential friends, and mentors. I encourage you to join a club that applies to your major. For example, I was the treasurer of the campus Biology Club during my undergraduate career. As the treasurer, I would set up a table outside of the cafeteria to encourage peers to sign up for our day trips to raise funds before going to lunch. 

This got me out of my shell while taking care of executive responsibilities. It was a win-win.  We organized biology-related events such as a New York Aquarium trip. After our marine biology adventures, we explored the City and even went to Little Italy for a delightful Italian dinner. Hands down the best Fettuccine Alfredo I ever had in my lifetime! 

Another organization I joined is the Exercise Science Club. We wrote a pamphlet designed for students to help them with their fitness goals. I was a middle school subscriber turned intern for a health-conscientious teen magazine, JUMP(R). This experience came in handy for my Exercise Science club responsibilities. I wrote about the importance of warming up and cooling down before and after physical activity. 

I love to speak Spanish and have Italian colleagues I respect. Therefore, I supported the Italian Club, and although I’m a nutrition nerd, I will not say no to delicious [and free!] gelato.

5. Join Artistic Groups

There are several means to express yourself creatively around campus. I love to write and therefore write for Her Campus and Spoon University. I also performed open-mic poetry at a local theatre. You can also sing in the choir, join the marching band, speak on campus radio, dance, act, choreograph, do stand-up comedy, and the list goes on. 

If you are a theatre, dance, music, communications, art, English, or journalism major, you never know who will be watching, listening, or reading your work before your big break! You can even go to shows for free as a student [which is another way to have fun at college without being under the influence]. I have seen a campus production of my favorite play Hair, saw stand-up comedian Charlie Murphy [R.I.P.], and other prominent comedy figures from Chappelle’s Show on campus.

6. Be Creative with Party Themes

Parties can be fun without the unnecessary use of alcohol and drugs. Theme parties are fun to host and attend around campus. I have attended Super Bowl parties. Dress as a hippie for a 60s theme party, disco diva for a 70s theme party, pop-punk princess for an 80s theme party, or your favorite stars of the 90s and 2000s/ 2010s. Use your creativity and fun-loving spirit to think of creative party themes without drinking or drug use, such as board game nights or singing karaoke!

7. Sign Up for Discounted Trips & Events

The last tip I have is to take advantage of discounts on trips and events. It was only about $10-$20 for various trips that would easily cost hundreds of dollars. For example, I have gone to Medieval Times through university with travel, admission, and food included. I even tried snowboarding and skiing for the first time in undergraduate socialization. Read newsletters and explore MyAULife to see what events are occurring. Adelphi has tons of events such as the New York Jets day trip. There are various events and trips that your hefty tuition bill covers so safely enjoy and indulge! 

   
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