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Another threat for parents of college students

pjrose

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Oops - I meant Thread not Threat - but underage drinking IS a Threat so I guess either word would apply.

DS has been at college one week, a small liberal arts school that doesn't have a rep as a party school. He is in a substance-free freshman dorm, and says the guys on his floor spend their evenings drinking at the frat houses. He's never cared about peer pressure or been interested in alcohol or other substances (his "drugs" all have circuit boards and chips) and I believe him when he says he's just in his room on the computer (plus he's IMing me every evening so probably isn't at a party using his laptop).

But what about drinking on campus? I know it's a problem just about everywhere but I wasn't expecting it from freshmen who had to sign a substance-free housing contract. Yes, I know the contract applied to the dorm itself - but I guess I thought the type of kids who would sign a contract like that would not be the kind to dive right in and go to "Thirsty Thursday" parties their first week of school!

I hope this is just a "whoopie, no parents!" kind of thing - but I'm concerned.
 
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lprstn

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I remember being in college and having friends from all sorts of colleges and its just sort of a right of passage...kids do it. However, I wasnt' interested as when I first went to college I did community college for 2 years and by the time I got on campus I had matured through that stage, and hopefully most kids will.
 

pranas

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How many recent high school grads that are headed to college would refuse to sign this form if mom and dad put in front of them and said "sign this?" I have taught at the college level for many years (mostly juniors, seniors and grad students) and like any college prof have seen kids do a lot of crazy things. There are a few who do not drink but most parents are kidding themselves if they think that their kids will never drink. I do not mean they will become drunks or druggies but most will experiment. Some more often than others
 

LUVourMarriotts

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PJROSE, let me ask you a question. What are you going to do if you find out that you DS has been drinking one night away at school? Would you go pick him up and make him go to a local school?

Please don't take this the wrong way, I'm trying to provide information.

I graduated from undergrad 12 years ago, so I am closer to the current "scene" than you are. And I have a nephew who is a sophomore in college right now. Alcohol is easily available to anyone who wants it at college. I would bet that your DS will at least try alcohol and go to parties while at school. Hopefully he is a responsible young adult and will understand his own limitations.
In my experience, there are 2 groups of college kids that you need to watch out for when they go away to college and start drinking. 1-The Type A personality who becomes Type A+++ when they drink and either think they can treat other people horribly, or get what we used to call "beer muscles". 2-The kids that have never drank before and were not provided much freedom previously. Most kids are somewhere in between.
I understand that underage drinking is illegal, but it is a fact of life at college. My school was a private college that allowed drinking in dorms no matter what age as long as you kept the alcohol in the rooms. There was even a single floor in one building that was alcohol free. Like your sons dorm, the residents of that floor had to sign contracts. That didn't matter at all. One of the best dorm parties that I ever went to was on that floor.
I drank relatively regularly at college and did some stupid things. But luckily I had a friend (now my wife) that didn't drink (because she didn't like the taste of beer and didn't see the need to get drunk to have a good time) that always watched over me. Friends are very important at college and especially when drinking is involved.

My recommendation: Understand that your DS may drink and comfort yourself in the fact that you have brought him up properly and he will make the right decisions. His friends will watch out for him for you.

I'm sorry if I was too open. You probably didn't want to hear some of this, and I'm sorry.
 
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pjrose

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I'm honestly not concerned about the occasional night out or party with alcohol. I was a college student too. If he overdoes it and gets sick and hungover, well, so did I.

I expect weekend parties and underage drinking. My son will either participate or he won't - I have no control over that at this point. My comments really weren't about him drinking. If he overdoes it and gets hung over and tells me, I'll remind him that he has some tylenol in his toiletries kit.

I posted because I was surprised that visiting the frats to drink seems to be the outing-of-choice for freshmen the very first week of school on school nights. I also didn't expect it to be as rampant as he says (and I'm only hearing one perspective here) on campus property at a small college.
 
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I know people who've sent kids off to college and they partied and failed first semesters, costing their parents thousands of dollars. Two people made the kids come home and go local after that.

I only had one go to college out of state, because she wanted a degree in physics engineering, and not many places on the east coast offer it. She knew that my husband and I were working vast amounts of OT to pay for her college, and she did very well.

At 27 she's not a big drinker, and if she experimented in college we never knew about it. But I'm glad the college days are over for her. And my youngest DD goes to Holy Family University in Philly part time, but her work pays for it, and only if she gets good grades.

Holly
 

senorak

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PJROSE....my son came home for the long weekend....same stories as your DS. While the campus itself is "alcohol free", there are many off campus parties, and alcohol is "smuggled" into the dorms. His roommate went to one party off campus, came back and got sick all over their room. DS said "you'd be proud, Mom....I didn't go to any parties".....and while that did make me happy, I realize it was only the first week of school....and I'm sure that there will be plenty of parties (on and off campus) in his future. I just hope that he makes the right choices and knows his limitations. His dorm room is right next to the CA (RA)....so I'm hoping that makes him "think twice".

Deb
 

jlr10

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During orientation my son found out that they look for parties on campus on Friday and Saturday, so the parties are on Thursday. I do think that drinking is just a fact of college.

I would prefer he didn't get drunk at college, but if he choses to there is not really anything I can do. So the only real advise I can give him is 1) Don't get in the car with anyone behind the wheel who has had anything to drink, or be the person behind the wheel if you have been drinking 2) Remember that one stupid mistake has the potential to cause really long term consequences (this apply to everything no just drinking and drugs.) 3) If he does something to put himself on academnic probation during college he comes home and we will only continue to provide tuition at local school, as we are not going to pay for him to go away and party, or flunk.

Other than that there really isn't too much to do. We raised him, loved him, and then gave him his wings and told him to fly. How he chooses to use them is up to him. (Easy to say I will still worry!)
 

Patri

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And parents better understand drinking goes on at EVERY college, no matter the size, public, private, or a church affiliation. The kids who go there are still kids, no matter how they have been brought up.
 

pcgirl54

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Drinking and drugs are at every campus no matter the college,the cost or the day of the week. It is unnerving as a parent since they are on their own. Some colleges are noted for it but don't let it fool you that it is not at all of them.

I have survived this three times now our boys are all done.'

Socializing with others is also part of the growth period. This is how they put to use what we taught them through the next 4 years as they meet people from a broader spectrum not just from similar backgrounds in the town/city where they grew up.

Also need to worry if they are not mixing with others and adapting to college once it gets past a certain period of time.

Being watchful from a distance is hard for parents.
 
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