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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oswego chapter.

(Topic Warning: Talks of Substance Abuse – mainly with alcohol and weed, but this could be towards any substance)

The semester is starting to wind down, which means it is finally time to start getting ready for summer to start approaching again. With that being said, many might want to easily party it up to celebrate the past school year. Partying can be fun, but sometimes it can create negative addictions or be a spot where peer pressure takes place for young adults. So, I thought with this negative connotation, why not find ways that you can still thrive through summer without substances? 

One of my main reasons that staying sober/not partaking in substances could be beneficial is because it can help you save financially. During the summer I work full-time, which allows me to make a greater amount each week, compared to when I’m at college. I usually spend some money on things that are purchased just because I want them, but I also save the rest so I don’t have to be overpacked in my schedule returning to school.

Courses especially in your last year or so of college can make it difficult to prioritize time, which could affect whether you’re able to work a job or not. For myself especially, I don’t have a meal plan and will be working an internship, so saving money is high on my list to make sure I do not have to ration things or be on my last dollar bill in case I cannot fit a job into my schedule. However, if I take a large portion of my earnings each week and purchase substances I will be helping that problem of not being financially stable expand in the long run. 

Another reason this could be beneficial is this could help prevent you from being reliant on substances going forward. Not everyone, but many might use substances to give themselves relief after a long day, project, semester, or shift, but it can easily become a part of your routine if you are not careful. You might come home after a long day of a work shift and believe that this will ease you, but if you get comfortable with doing the action, it can become easy to continue it the next day, week, month even.

However, if you instead can eliminate substances from your summer, it could allow you to not worry or become changed when you cannot take part or access it. I want to also mention again, that like before this article started this can be a triggering topic, as overusing substances can lead to addiction; so although there are benefits to not doing substances at all, it isn’t always an easy thing to just eliminate.

My final reason how it benefits is it allows us more time to find things we take an interest in or want to be a part of. When you take part in substances, it takes away from time to focus on hobbies or things you want to do outside of school and work. However, if you can eliminate or start to eliminate your substance intake, it gives you more free time. More time to take part in going to events, going to the gym, hanging out with friends, learning a new skill, you receive more time that you would not have before. 

Getting more of this time in another interest can also allow you to mentally and physically be better. When you take part in substances it usually results in you having negative effects whether that be feelings of dissociation, being hungover, and more. The physical effects can then affect your mental health and well-being as now it affects how you feel through the day, how you feel going to work or to hang out with someone, and how you react to things through your schedule. Though again, if we start to try to lower or take away fully our intake of substances, we can maintain a better physical and mental well-being for ourselves going forward, even past summer.

These were just some benefits, but there are more that you could likely already think of or look into. Now again, this article tells you that staying sober can be very beneficial to your lifestyle, but it is not always an easy journey for people to do. Whether it be you or someone you know, trying to become sober can be difficult to navigate for multiple reasons. So, we shouldn’t also shame others if they cannot be in the same sober life as others could; but rather try to help them instead such as being a listener and talking about or providing resources.

Hello, I am Leila LaJoie (she/her). I go by Leila, but sometimes people call me Laine. I am a 21-year-old in my final year of undergrad at SUNY Oswego. I double major in Journalism and English, so I have always had a love for writing in general. In my free time I enjoy writing, reading, dancing, listening to music and going on walks. As far as what I focus on while writing, I'm very open, it really depends on what I'm into at the moment as well as what is going on around my environment. I am grateful for the opportunity to start this journey on Her Campus, as it will allow for me to have a writing outlet that can kickstart and further me into my career. It also will allow me to hear more about others' stories and experiences. A stepping stool if you will to my future and connections to be made.