New college student says no to getting high and to drinking alcohol

<p>We dropped off our son on Sunday and it is the week of welcome before classes begin in 5 days... At first things seemed fine.. but then.... unfortunately the kids he was hanging with started talking about getting high. My son rejects that. He wanted to talk today and asked to skype. I spoke three times today with my kiddo for about a half hour each time. During all the skype conversations he was sitting alone in his room. Apparently he said no to new pals who wanted him to go to a Frat party at 2 PM. Apparently they tried to hand him a drink with Vodka and he declined. His roommate had moved in today and my son had no idea where he was--he was nowhere to be found. As of 11 PM he still had not returned to the room. The roommte is a possible dud- it seems he made no attempt at friendship with my son. He was not into answering e-mails that my son sent this summer so I guess that could have been construed as a warning. This is causing worry. It is 4:28 AM and I cannot sleep. UGH! Stress!!!</p>

<p>It will be okay. The first week of school is one of the craziest times and it can sometimes feel like everyone is out partying. He will find his people. Even kids that don't drink sometimes go to frat parties in the beginning to see what the big deal is. And roommates don't have to be buddies, they just have to live together harmoniously. </p>

<p>Once classes start things do calm down a bit, and the clubs start up. My very social son had a bit of a meltdown the second day at school but is now doing well 5 days in. It is great to come here and vent.</p>

<p>Does your son not want to go to the party at all? He could go and just hold a cup of water/soda. Nobody is forced to drink. I'm sure he'll meet more like minded people in the weeks to come at school.</p>

<p>If your son has interest in being part of a campus ministry, that would be a good place to start to look for like-minded students. These groups are easy to find on a college website -- look under "student organizations" or "campus life" -- and they usually are very visible in the first few weeks. A lot of students who aren't interested in drinking get involved in campus religious groups. In many larger schools and in some smaller schools, there is at least one interfaith group as well.</p>

<p>If he is not interested in a campus ministry, have him look at non-religiously affiliated service organizations. In looking around at colleges, we have heard time and again from campus life representatives that service organizations tend to draw students who are more interested in helping other people than in going to parties.</p>

<p>I'm sorry. This must be rough for your son. I agree that things will settle down some once classes start. I also understand that for someone who doesn't drink, going to a party where people are drinking, especially on a college campus where the drinking tends to be heavy, can be a miserable experience. Fortunately, though, there are other social options, and I wish him the best in finding them.</p>

<p>The roommate may not necessarily be a dud. He may simply have other things to do. If he already knows people on campus, he may be spending a lot of his time with them before classes start. Or he may be practicing for a sport, rehearsing for marching band, or otherwise participating in an activity that makes heavy demands on a student's time before classes start. </p>

<p>Don't condemn the roommate because of his absence. He has no obligation to devote any proportion of his time to getting to know his new roommate.</p>

<p>7-up wth lime and no vodka always staves them off. Having something in your hand keeps people from pushing drinks on you. I'd say go to the party just to see one at least. I'm sure he'll meet like-minded people but sitting in your room isn't how you do it.
Some "campus ministries" are actually cults Research a bit before you join.</p>

<p>Surefire way for guys to meet friends. Set up XBox or Playstation in the lounge and start playing. You'll have a crowd in no time. Or join an intermural team. But, I agree, you have to leave your room.</p>

<p>There are plenty of types of campus ministries, and they are all over the religious (and, yes, political) spectrum. My favorites are ones that, whatever their religious perspective, favor interfaith dialogue and service projects. Through those, students can make friends not only with other students of their faith, but students of other faiths as well. Regardless, checking out any organization, whether religious or non-religious, online ahead of time is a good way to find out what might fit one's beliefs and interests.</p>

<p>And I like megpmom's advice as well. He has to get out of the room.</p>

<p>Nothing against campus religious groups, but just because a student chooses not to drink/drug does not necessarily mean that they are religious or even interested in service projects. (Likewise, it does not necessarily mean that the OP's son wouldn't be interested, either.) Anecdotally, some of the biggest partiers one of my kids knows are members of such groups ...</p>

<p>It's difficult to be the straight-edge person among partiers, and the advice to join some sort of campus group and open your door for others to drop in is excellent. My youngest found that carrying a small bottle of orange juice at the party made others assume that she had vodka in it, and that seemed to stop the offers of drinks. After that, it's easy to find the other people at the party who can still hold a coherent conversation, and you can all laugh at the silliness around you.</p>

<p>My daughter doesn't care for the party scene at all. It's not that she, herself, doesn't want to consume alcohol (although it's not her thing), it's that she doesn't really want to be at a big party where others are doing so. This means "holding a glass that looks like an alcoholic drink" isn't the solution for her. </p>

<p>She was seriously considering not staying at her dorm during freshman week, but, happily, seems to have found a group of like-minded people on her floor who have been playing board games, watching movies, etc. </p>

<p>It probably takes more time to find the others who like a tamer type of socializing, particularly because they may be, by nature, less gregarious. But your son should be able to find other students who share his idea of fun.</p>

<p>Some schools offer non drinking events in the first weeks. I think my daughter met some friends she kept all four years at some, and two future roommates.</p>

<p>My D was also a non-partier in college. She went to a party once, and was completely turned off. She found friends, and they are still close even after graduation. It might take a little time (it did for D), but it will happen. Heck, I WAS a partier in college, and I still remember feeling lonely in the first few weeks of school.</p>

<p>My son likes board games as well as video games--he takes Monopoly with him and sets it up in the common room to meet people. Never lacked for a good game!
That's a major departure from when I went to school...the first board game I encountered in the dorm was a drinking game...interesting but not really my style. So many kids were totally free for the first time in their lives and would go wild (and drinking age was 18). Knowing what you want and standing by your ethics and preferences is a huge part of growing up.</p>

<p>Depends on the culture of the campus and on how one turns down an offer of party invites, drinks, or drugs. </p>

<p>Although my private LAC campus culture had many weed and psychedelic users, I never felt the need to partake....and they never felt put off when I turned down their offers. </p>

<p>Then again, I didn't come across as judgmental or schoolmarmish when they made those offers.* IME, if you give respect/MYOB, they'll return the favor in at least equal measure. </p>

<p>Also, I don't know if it was me, but I also found that the drug users at my LAC weren't the types to force their choices on you....or take it personally if you decline to partake. </p>

<p>One suggestion I'd make if your son is feeling lonely is to recommend he also tries to make friends with folks off-campus thorough part-time jobs/ECs/volunteer opportunities. That way, he not only lessens his isolation, but also gets an early start on learning how to get along outside the college campus bubble. </p>

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<li>I've heard of/known such types among my HS classmates or colleagues. No one...especially those at colleges with students who tend to take such rejections to partake personally likes those types of straight-edge classmates. There's a reason why many comedies satirize puritans, religious fundamentalists, militant squares, or judgmental busybodies. Some examples includes Blackadder making fun of Puritans, Animal House, PCU, Monty Python, etc.</li>
</ul>

<p>When I asked DS why he wasn't at a party, he answered "why would I want to go and watch a bunch of people get drunk?" He was happier in his room than there. And although he has found friends, he's still often happier/just as happy in his room doing his thing than hanging with them.</p>

<p>The question is how unhappy your son is in his current situation. If he's an outgoing social guy, he will likely be outgoing and find others. If he's a homebody, then he's likely not too unhappy in his room.</p>

<p>Re roommate, a problematic roommate is worse than an absent one as we found out. Again, if your son was expecting to find a best friend in his roomie (although the silence over the summer should have precluded that thought), then time to readjust expectations. My son did have a very extensive contact with his roomie during the summer and were buddies in the fall but roommate turned out to be a mess and a handful and thankfully left school by february. So be careful what you wish for.</p>

<p>"judgmental busybodies"--no one wants one as a friend. That's the job of parents!</p>

<p>((HUGS)) to you. Encourage your son to head to another floor of his dorm. He may find some new friends there. When S was a freshman, he lived on the 4th floor but found 'his people' on the 3rd floor. And he found close friends in other dorms, too. It doesn't happen overnight, but it will happen. I hope things are better today. :)</p>

<p>Don't expect roommates to be best friends unless they were that way before school. A good roomie respects your space and is relatively low maintenance. And e-mailing during the summer between guys especially means nothing (according to DS).
hrh is totally right--head to a different floor. It's amazing how one flight of stairs can be a different universe.</p>

<p>other good places to meet students who aren't completely into the drinking culture: the gym/work out facilities, campus jobs, the social floor of the campus library.</p>

<p>When my oldest son started college, at the beginning he had a hard time socially because he saw the party scene as entirely black/white. He not only did not want to go to a party with alcohol, he didn't want to be friends with anyone who would go to a party....very judgmental and immature.</p>

<p>Eventually he learned to relax a bit. He eventually learned that people could go to a party and have fun, and that while there were those who went fully intending to overindulge, there were people also having only a drink or two, or no drinks at all. </p>

<p>Big parties never have been and never will be his big thing, and he found his friends in all sorts of other places, but first he had to get over ruling out friendship with anyone who ever made a different choice than him. For example, he joined an a capella group and really enjoyed it and the people in it for the first few weeks...and then the group had a party...and he did not go to the party, or even to another meeting....for the rest of first semester. The group kept calling, and he wouldn't tell them why he had stopped coming. Second semester he went to a meeting, and rejoined....and realized that their definition of "party" did not resemble a fraternity wild bash. He finally relaxed and let himself enjoy having friends who might have a beer on occasion.</p>

<p>I am not condoning all the drinking that goes on on college campuses....and certainly not advocating going to large and loud parties just to go, just saying give people and events a chance. Odds are that at a party, you can look around and find someone as lost as you are, and make a friend when you suggest "let's leave."</p>

<p>My D'13 sounds a lot like your son, she wants no part of alcohol/drugs/parties. It is very black and white for her with absolutely no gray area. We have had many conversations about college parties in anticipation of next year, honestly I want her to learn that there is a gray area. That it is okay to go to a party, bring your own drink with a lid on it and socialize with your friends or tailgate with friends that drink even if you choose not to. So far I am beating my head against a wall.</p>

<p>I will say that both of our tour guides we have had at Bama were not party guys and they assured us that there were plenty of like minded kids so hopefully your son will meet more people as classes get going at his U(if not at UA)</p>