From my tagline of this new website you’ve now probably guessed: A) I am a college student, B) I am a girl, and C) I am suspended.
When I told most people that I wasn’t going to be attending my university in the Spring, they looked at me like they had just seen a ghost. “Whaaaat? Why not?” was always the response and I’ll be honest, my reason was embarrassing. I was suspended for underage intoxication. Yep. I got too drunk, had myself too much fun, got caught twice by my resident assistant and that was it. I was suspended. My university has a reputation for being a party school so that’s why people found it so shocking. The business school is excellent, one of the best public university business schools in the nation actually, but the school itself has a reputation that it just can’t seem to shake. It has tried over and over but the University itself doesn’t realize that this reputation has followed its name for decades and it won’t ever be shaken, no matter how many students they suspend for alcohol related incidents.
A little background for you: I didn’t drink in high school but believe me I knew my limits eventually, I just wish I had known them sooner. However, the two times that I actually went overboard and “blacked out” during the fall semester were the two times I got caught. What was the most frustrating part about all of this though was that I had friends blacking out four out of the seven nights of the week, snorting cocaine off laptops, smoking joints on their porches, and I was the one to get caught; the girl who has only ever blacked out twice, the girl who has never done a drug in her life nor partied in high school. What. A. Bummer. At the time, it felt like the end of the world. I felt like I had been cheated by life. I kept on asking myself “why did this happen to me? I am such a good kid this doesn’t make sense.” But I came to realize three things: A) the university wanted to make an example out of me, B) this just proves that I can’t ever get away with anything and C) this is God telling me that this will be the lowest of my lows and that it’s only going to get better from here. And it did. But that’s not the point of this blog post. The point of this blog post is to give parents and even students who are about to be baby freshman at these new universities some insight about this young alcoholism phenomenon called “college.”
Parents, I can personally tell you right now that your children need to be exposed to alcohol before they go to college. If they’ve never taken a sip of an alcoholic beverage, responsibly sit them down and get them drunk. They NEED to know what it feels like. I wish that my parents had forced me to sit down in a controlled environment and explore my limitations. I didn’t know my limits going into college and that is single-handedly what screwed me over. Sure, I hated the taste of alcohol but college is the place where some tequila, Redbull, and cherry flavored soda can taste like heaven and if you have a sweet tooth like I do, you’re fucked if you don’t know what your body can take. Not all kids are going to be the social butterflies like I was, but if you as a parent know that your child flourishes in social environments, make sure to have a sit-down conversation with them and get them exposed to alcohol. No matter how much of a saint you think your child is, they will party, they will get drunk, they will have sex, they will have drunk sex, and yes, bad things can happen if they don’t know how to control their liquor. Fortunately, I can’t say from personal experience that I have ever been taken advantage of, but I know people who have and sexual assault and rape cases are more prevalent on college campuses than ever before.
I understand that you as parents want your children to be focused on school and academics, even as a social butterfly my eye was always on getting the As, but college is also the best four years of your life and you can’t control your teenager’s actions forever. The day you give them one last hug before packing up the car and heading home is the day you send them off to make their own choices. Our young minds HAVE to know what it’s like to learn the rewards and consequences of our actions. It is the only way we will ever grow and mature as human beings. So please, take it from a suspended social butterfly who attends one of the biggest party schools in the United States, and make sure your 18-year olds know their limits. It is one of the biggest life savers for your child and it will keep them out of trouble in their four years of undergraduate education. I promise.