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Alcohol and Drugs at Boarding School

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Replies to: Alcohol and Drugs at Boarding School

  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 Registered User Posts: 565 Member
    During the 1970’s the drinking age was 18 where I was — I don’t recall the type of intense parties or binge drinking that you hear about today. I can only share what my experience was as a college athlete - also have had interesting conversations with women who played golf in college and are now parents of college-aged kids....We have had similar reflections.....we were basically working full-time jobs in college as a serious athlete. We knew this going in and were excited to play our sport. There may be differences on the experience depending on the sport. We had classes (sometimes at night) and traveled for sports. Did not feel really connected to majority of student body. Very strict rules @ behavior and I felt like maybe as young women we were more isolated as a team back then. But, no nonsense.

    After graduation, it hit me hard - like I didn’t have the same “college” experience as most people. Felt very sad after graduation. I gained experience in other areas during college - maturity, professionalism - but college wasn’t the same type of social experience as it was for most kids. Perhaps, that is why I went to graduate school and decided it was there that I would make up for lost time? I actually had more fun in grad school and more of a social life (by then you were also of legal age).
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,343 Senior Member
    I recall that at our school, at one point an outside counselor conducted a survey of the kids as to how many were doing what (drugs and alcohol ) . The survey included questions about how many of your classmates did these things as well as how you thought your school compared to others.

    Let's just say that the kids vastly missed on their perceptions of what was going on around them. Most overestimated use. (Bragging about what they had done perhaps?) Which is to say that as a parent, you are reporting as a parent with very filtered info from a not so accurate source. If your kid doesn't see it, it doesn't mean it's not there. Or if they are worried about it, it's unlikely that everyone is doing it.

    If a school has heavy handed punishments but nobody gets punished, I would guess that few kids get caught, not that they are squeaky clean. And when kids are asked to leave, parents know because their kids tell them, but kids only tell what they know and it is very rarely the whole story. Call me cynical, but I don't put a lot of faith into reports from parents and I think students, who have a better sense, are also affected by their own perceptions.

    I think that your kid may have the best shot at getting a read during a visit, but that too will depend on who they meet.
  • chemmchimneychemmchimney Registered User Posts: 668 Member
    Every BS has drugs and alcohol available to students who want to partake. As the parent of two BS kids who both chose sobriety during school what was most important to us as a family was the overall culture. Would Chimneykids find plenty of like minded friends who were happy to spend Sat night with them watching Netflixs? Could you be a cool kid while staying sober? Both girls avoided parties like the plague as freshman and sophomores (fear of expulsion is also a great motivator) and eventually grew to have friends in both camps and (as far as I know) were never pressured to partake.

    I have to say though that a trip to the Harvard Yale game this year was an eye opener. Out of control drinking for as far as the eye could see, a line of men 15 deep peeing on the gym wall, a steady stream of EMT golf carts whizzing by with wasted students. I was honestly pretty schocked, (and I am a wild child of the 70s and 80s who is far less restrained than my kids)
  • jdeweyjdewey Registered User Posts: 333 Member
    the kids with abuse issues tend to get caught and have to leave
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 36,787 Super Moderator
    edited January 19
    a line of men 15 deep peeing on the gym wall
    Which could only have been Yale men.

    In all seriousness, though, compared to a Michigan-Ohio State game, fan behavior at the Harvard-Yale game is more akin to that at a local Pop Warner game (which in some areas, can have wild behavior as well). :D
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • dramakid2dramakid2 Registered User Posts: 145 Junior Member
    This feels like an appropriate place to share my own BS senior prom story....

    The all-girls BS I attended always had their senior prom on the night of graduation. That way, if there were issues with alcohol and etc, it would not affect the graduation status of the seniors. The year I graduated one of the day student’s parents offered to throw a “supervised” after-prom party on their private island. They arranged for charter bus transportation from our prom location to the private ferry that took 50 girls plus their male prom dates to the property. The island had a large main house with a guest house that had at least a dozen bedrooms, maybe more. There was a pool, tennis courts and lots of wooded area where it was easy to hide. (Think American Pie movie after-prom party).

    Word got around quickly that the charter bus drivers would not interfere with anything going on on the bus. Most of us had bottles of something stashed in our overnight bags, so the drinking began on the bus. By the time we got to the island many kids were already drunk. Once we arrived there was lots of food, soda and water. We were told that if they saw any open containers they would be confiscated. However, as long as we were drinking from cups no questions would be asked.

    Looking back, it’s amazing that everyone got through that night without a major incident. There were some awful hangovers the next morning, and I think maybe there was one scare involving the pool, but that was it. When I think about that party from a parent’s perspective, I can’t believe that someone knowingly took all that risk to host such a party. I guess maybe they felt it was better than all of us trying to find a more secret location? Liability laws have changed drastically over the past 20 years, so I think it would be hard to find someone willing to throw that kind of party these days.
  • GMC2918GMC2918 Registered User Posts: 912 Member
    I agree with @chemmchimney that drugs and alcohol can be found anywhere that there are teenagers. The difference however, is in the culture. The point is to avoid places where there is peer pressure, younger kids partaking, a perception that adults are "looking the other way", the presence of hard drugs, etc. When my son was applying, he spoke to many of his older sister's friends who attend a wide range of different BSs. They were surprisingly consistent in telling him which schools, in their opinion, have a "problem" with drugs & alcohol. Try to talk to CURRENT students and ask plenty of questions. In our experience, they were more than willing to give my son very frank & unfiltered answers.
  • PhotographerMomPhotographerMom Registered User Posts: 1,822 Senior Member
    K2 learned many valuable life lessons during his FY at college but at least he had the good sense to monitor his social media at all times . His employer and coaches are "friends" and follow him.... so he has always been careful (borderline obsessive) about photos and content.

    I do feel sorry for kids today though... I really do. I can't even imagine social media or phones with cameras when I was young . Honestly? That would've ruined everything .... with maybe the exception of one or two Frank Zappa concerts . ;)
  • PhotographerMomPhotographerMom Registered User Posts: 1,822 Senior Member
    I do, however, have a framed 8 x10 photograph of me on stage ( The Bottom Line ) singing with Flo and Eddie sitting on top of my piano. When people ( who visit for the first time ) ask me if I sang with the band ( LOL ).... I'd love to fib and say yes, but I was actually dragged up on stage ( against my will ) and a friend happened to capture the moment with an old fashioned camera- which happened to be my camera! I remember developing the film in my dark room ... thinking Holy Crap.... Let's put it this way.... it was a far cry from a magical moment like when The Boss brought someone up on stage to dance ..... so we'll just leave it there. ;)

    But I digress...

    To get back on the thread topic ( I'm so sorry! ) .... FWIW - One thing that I meant to include in another post was how impressed I was when I heard that my kids reached back to former BS mentors, advisors and coaches.... You know- when things were in various stages of going off the rails.

    I didn't know that during but it was nice to hear when all the dust settled because it really helped them and people were definitely there for them. Just wanted to include that because I think it says a lot about the strong bonds formed at BS and how fortunate BS kids are to have those wonderful support systems after they leave. Seriously- How great is that?

    I know my kids are truly grateful for the advice/ support they had received during their first year of college, and after we heard about it... waaay after the fact - we were beyond grateful , too. :)
  • carpoolingmacarpoolingma Registered User Posts: 539 Member
    DD is a recent graduate from public school. Plenty of public school kids who are exemplary in high school go WILD in college too. (Thankfully not DD.....so far.) And, each time, I am shocked!
  • AppleNotFarAppleNotFar Registered User Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    What about vaping at BS? My girlfriends here at home all complain that vaping is what the “bad crowd” is doing at all the local high schools, be they public, private or parochial.
  • CTMom21CTMom21 Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    My son says kids vape. Last summer (pre-BS) he was at a lacrosse tryout with all older age groups, and he said kids were talking about vaping there too. He's been pretty sheltered and was shocked at the time.
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 3,247 Senior Member
    I know at my kids' school, the BS gives a chance for students to "turn someone in" as needing help before they get caught, treating substance use more as a medical condition that needs treatment not punishment. Do they all do that?
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