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Substance-free housing?

tennismom02tennismom02 Posts: 37Registered User New Member
edited June 2010 in College Life
Substance-free housing was a "must have" for my d when she was considering colleges. The school she will be attending does have a substance-free dorm which she thinks she wants to request. Suprisingly, I am luke-warm on the idea. If any one has experience with this type of housing option, we would love your input.
Post edited by tennismom02 on
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Replies to: Substance-free housing?

  • GoldShadowGoldShadow Posts: 6,160Registered User Senior Member
    Definitely recommend against it.

    Substance free housing is usually filled with the socially awkward or the students whose parents forced them into the substance free dorms.

    There's nothing wrong with regular housing, and it is, in my opinion, the best way to have fun and meet new people (for the record, I don't drink or do any drugs).
  • PearlinthemistPearlinthemist Posts: 697Registered User Member
    I requested that type of housing, and it turned out VERY badly.

    The reason WHY it went bad was that not everyone placed there WANTED to be there. Some students were simply under 18 & since they can't even legally buy cigarettes, they were placed in substance free. Also, some parents thought that forcing their delinquent child to be in the substance free building would be like rehab.
    Urrrgghh... awful. Within the first month the building went from being called the "substance-free" building to the "substance-filled" building. The stairways smelt like pot, there was constantly vomit by the entrances & all over the bathroom. Oh, and our building's RA (the one who is supposed to manage the building)... he was kicked out for drinking with students in the building on halloween! We had no RA for over 6 months - so imagine the chaos than ensued!

    Substance-free would be great if done correctly - as in only placing students who wanted to be there in the building. Also, if you think about it, most dorm buildings should be "substance-free". Freshmen are typically under 21, and most of the campuses I know of are dry-campuses anyway (no alcohol)... anyone will illegal substances can be arrested... and people who smoke have to do so outside the buildings (in CA they have to be 20 ft away from the entrances)... so really technically speaking nobody should be doing that stuff inside any dorm building.
  • URichmond2010URichmond2010 Posts: 737Registered User Member
    I was in sub-free housing my freshman year, and it was great! There was one (1) socially awkward person there who was coincidentally there thanks to her parents. Everyone else was fabulous and fun and friendly. Some girls did drink and party, but it usually never came back to the hall, which was great--very few loud, obnoxious parties. I made some of my best friends on that hall, two of which are currently my roommates, and many of which I'm still friends with. I don't drink, so it was a good choice for me, and when I entered college, I wasn't very tolerant of other people drinking, and that changed very quickly, but I'm still glad that I wasn't forced to live with it.

    If it means that much to your daughter, I would investigate the sub-free situation at her chosen school and see if its a proper sub-free floor, or if it's a bad one. Then let her decide if she wants to go for it, or choose a regular floor instead.
  • tennismom02tennismom02 Posts: 37Registered User New Member
    Wow, thank you for sharing each of your experiences w/ sub-free housing. What I get out of this is that each college manages this type of housing differently... some good and some bad. We'll do some more research on the sub-free housing option at her college.

    We would be grateful for any additional feedback.
  • 1of421of42 Posts: 2,443- Member
    Here at Princeton the sub free dorms definitely take the whole being socially awkward stereotype to a new level. I'd probably leave the university before living in one of them. ;)
  • LumineLumine Posts: 669Registered User Member
    It varies significantly. My experience living in a substance-free dorm has been entirely positive. Mind you, it's not heavily controlled/supervised (and it's in a very liberal-minded university) so it wasn't substance free - just substance-reduced. There are a few socially awkward people, but no more than in any other hall, I would say. Most of us are well-adjusted, some are promiscuous, some even love to drink on the weekend. What we share is the desire to not have a party raging on around us when we're trying to sleep. We go elsewhere to do that stuff, and can escape from it by going back to our dorms.
  • zoolanderzoolander Posts: 709Registered User Member
    what happens if you get caught with A. pot B.alcohol in ur dorms
  • erhswimmingerhswimming Posts: 1,207Registered User Senior Member
    Alcohol you just get written up at my school. Basically a slap on the wrist. Not sure about pot.
  • desperaclodesperaclo Posts: 150Registered User Junior Member
    My girlfriend is in a substance-free hall at her university and the people there are pretty great.
  • IlikeDiceIlikeDice Posts: 578Registered User Member
    Tell your daughter that if she's not responsible enough to avoid "substances" without attempting to put herself in a bubble,-- this "substance free" dorm (honestly, that term makes no sense)-- then she shouldn't go to college.

    It's a worthwhile lesson.
  • tennismom02tennismom02 Posts: 37Registered User New Member
    Thanks again for all your thoughts!

    IlikeDice - My daughter's interest in sub-free housing is because she is pretty set in her healthy-living choices and would prefer to share her living space with students who feel the same way and respect that. I think that is a very mature and responsible view. She has a "handful" of hs friends who share her values and she is very friendly with the many kids in her hs who participate in drinking and drugs but she would rather not be sharing a room with them on a Friday or Saturday night.
  • Mom2girlsMom2girls Posts: 7Registered User New Member
    IlikeDice - It's not a matter of being "responsible enought to avoid substances" or of being in a "bubble" - it's a matter of not enjoying stepping in the "aftermath of someone else's "enjoyment" on the way to class the next morning, it's a matter of being able to study or sleep or read or watch tv without being interrupted by someone who has had a little too much "enjoyment" - and yes, as tennismom02 says, it's a matter of being able to live a "healthy choice" lifestyle with others who have the same preferences. As adults, we are able to make decisions as to the people we choose to "live with on a daily basis" and if we choose to live with other adults with the same values and healthy life style choices it isn't considered "living in a bubble" or lack of responsibilty.
  • desperaclodesperaclo Posts: 150Registered User Junior Member
    IlikeDice - My daughter's interest in sub-free housing is because she is pretty set in her healthy-living choices and would prefer to share her living space with students who feel the same way and respect that. I think that is a very mature and responsible view. She has a "handful" of hs friends who share her values and she is very friendly with the many kids in her hs who participate in drinking and drugs but she would rather not be sharing a room with them on a Friday or Saturday night.

    Congrats on raising what seems to be a level-headed young woman. :)
  • tennismom02tennismom02 Posts: 37Registered User New Member
    Mom2girls and desperaclo -
    Thanks for your support! This is a particularly tough decision for my daughter because she is very out-going and she is not looking to isolate herself.
  • HisGraceFillsMeHisGraceFillsMe Posts: 4,719Registered User Senior Member
    I'm going to be living in sub-free housing this fall as a freshman. :)

    For me, it's not a matter of "putting myself in a bubble"...I've been able to go all of my life without getting hammered or stoned out of my brain. It's more that I won't even be 18 until a few weeks after classes start, not to mention 21. I just don't want to deal with that "scene", and as others have said, I want to share my environment with people who respect my views and share them.
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