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

I am not sure why you want to change her mind. As someone who feels the exact same way and went to school with a huge frat culture, I did find that finding like-minded people, NOT going to these parties was the best way to go. She is going to have a tough enough time finding people that she can relate to when it comes to these things - the least you can do is support her choices and values, not try to change her mind.</p>

<p>I’ve always hated those large, anonymous, alcohol-fueled parties. For the first month of college, I didn’t really hang with anyone because I hadn’t found non-partiers to chill with. He will find his group eventually. I’m a loner a good part of the time, so the lack of friends didn’t bother me as much as it might bother someone else. I didn’t drink until the very end of the second semester, and although I’ve been drunk since then, I rarely (less than once a month) partake in alcohol. </p>

<p>And don’t be harsh to the roommate. It’s not his job to sit in the room with your son if he doesn’t want to come out. My roommate did the same thing and I was grateful. It meant I didn’t need to force a conversation with someone who wasn’t likely to be a close friend of mine. She was a nice person, but not the type of person I wanted to be friends with.</p>

<p>Oh, and my mother was appalled by the lack of my partying (aka socializing in her words). She simply did not understand that I find such activities boring. If you have a son or daughter who doesn’t want to drink/use drugs/party, don’t think it’s strange or abnormal. And don’t try to convince them otherwise. It won’t work and is rather annoying from my point of view.</p>

<p>acollegestudent: I don’t want to necessarily change my D’s mind, I want to open her mind. Alcohol is not evil when in drank moderation and I want her to learn that, I want her to know that if she is watching movies with friends and someone decides to have a beer that she doesn’t have to sever ties.
If she finds like minded friends than great but if she doesn’t I don’t want her to think that she can’t have friends that drink because she can, there just needs to be a mutual respect for each ones choices.</p>

<p>Honestly I don’t really drink anymore and I can count on one hand how many times I have drank around D, DH will occasionally have a beer after work. So it isn’t that I want her party her College years away, it is that I don’t want her push potential friends away because they choose to drink.</p>

<p>My DS made it through freshman year at a LAC known for being pretty liberal in terms of alcohol/drugs w/o using either. He also hates big and loud parties of any kind. But he found - over time - a good group of friends who understood his decision not to partake and who also preferred to hang out in each other’s rooms instead of the major party scene.
The first weeks are really hard and the kids don’t have enough work at the moment so, OP, give it some time. When classes and the workload kicks in, your son will get to know more kids like himself.</p>



<p>To be honest, I don’t think that going to a party where it’s necessary to bring your own cup as a prop is the best way to find out that drinking alcohol in moderation–like a glass of wine with dinner–is o.k. I don’t think people at big college parties are role models of moderate alcohol use. I don’t know enough about tailgating (I’ve never done that) to know whether that setting is more of a moderate-drinking setting. </p>

<p>If your daughter has already seen her father have a beer or two after work without becoming intoxicated, then she knows this is possible. It may be that she does not know it is possible for young people to do this, because they do it so rarely.</p>

<p>I can relate to the concern that a child is “missing out” on things that the parent thinks are fun, or critical to social life, or whatever. But if it’s not the kid’s idea of fun, the kid isn’t missing out.</p>

<p>^^ I am not advocating her attending Keg parties, ultimately her choice to or not to, again it is more about NOT shunning people that choose to drink. I don’t think that she will miss some great experience by choosing not to attend parties, I would just like her to learn not to judge others for drinking much like she does not want be judged for not drinking. Make Sense?</p>

<p>Is it possible that she just doesn’t want to drink, responsibly or not, even as she gets older? I am in my mid-20’s, and I don’t drink, and it’s not a religious or cultural thing. I would have been very annoyed if my parents, who both drank on special occasions, etc. when I was in college, encouraged me to learn how to drink responsibly, when I just didn’t want to drink.</p>

<p>And in all honesty, while I understand what you mean about pushing away friends, she may not have a lot in common with people who go to these parties. None of my close friends drank in college, although they do now that they are older. I didn’t pick them for this reason - it just kind of happened. Going to parties where everyone is drunk (in my experience, people don’t really drink socially at the parties you are describing, but it might be the drinking culture at my school) and nursing a non-alcoholic drink is not something a person like your daughter may enjoy, and that’s OK. I really do think that she would appreciate your acceptance.</p>

<p>EDIT: Posted before your I saw your response. I DO get it. All I was trying to say is that if you’ve said it once, she probably remembers it and gets it. Now, it’s up to her whether she follows your advice or not. I understand her point of view, and it’s an unpopluar one - I think you should accept it too, even if you disagree, rather than trying to open her mind. If you already said it once, saying it again won’t change anything and will probably just make her feel alienated from you.</p>


There’s usually more going on in the first week than frat party drunk fests. Has he gone and checked out the workout facilities? Now’s a great time to work on getting in better shape - set the tone for the rest of his life. He’ll likely meet other like minded people there as well. Is there a pool on campus? Maybe he can go for a swim, or take a tennis racket to the tennis court and start hitting a ball and find someone to play tennis with.</p>

<p>If he has no interest in working out, he can wander around the quad (or equivalent) and check out all the tables that might be set up to check out the various clubs/activities. </p>

<p>Is there a common area with a TV in it? If he feels like watching something he can go there and join others or just watch by himself and others may join him.</p>

<p>Does he like video games? If he wanders down the hall and sees someone playing who has their door open he can pop his head in and ask what they’re playing and he might get invited to join.</p>

<p>Has he checked with the RA to see if there are dorm related activities he can join in on? Maybe he can even volunteer to be an officer/coordinator of some kind. Sometimes there are scheduled dorm get-togethers, trips, etc. Maybe he can help out with coordinating those or at least find out about them and join in.</p>

<p>The main thing is for him to realize that not ‘everyone’ on campus drinks and parties. there are all kinds of people. There are probably plenty sitting in their rooms like your S thinking everyone else is out partying. It’s a matter of being somewhat assertive and putting himself out there enough to find out what’s going on and joining what interests him.</p>

<p>Another point - he shouldn’t be dependent on his randomly assigned roomie to somehow be his pal for doing things. It’s possible they’re not that compatible to be pals which is fine as long as they’re respectful of each other - there are plenty of other people there he can be friends with.</p>

<p>When my daughter started college she didn’t want to drink, but she went to some frat-type parties to socialize. What she found was that being the sober person in a room or house full of drunk people is not fun, and she inevitably would end up being “in charge” of taking care of someone else who was teetering out of control. She would then have to try to help them while they were sick and mean to her. After the 3rd time this happened she made the decision that these events were not her cup of tea and found other things to do with her time.</p>



<p>Exactly. Some kids know this before they get to college. Some can perform an effective thought experiment such that they don’t even have to go to a party to figure that out.</p>

Thanks for the tips.
I guess I will say "go to a party and hold a drink , just try it, but make sure you know how to get home and at the first sign of drugs, just exit if you want. " Give it a try is what I have been saying all along.
If he says no, then I just don’t know how he’ll find friends. I will urge him not to give up and not to try too hard.<br>
We are atheists but we are private about it. He is a quiet kid who was into running and health. He called me about 4 times today to get answers: how to pay for laundry, how to get books,how to open his mail box which won’t work) and was not saying a thing about his absent roommate. We are not at all judging the absent roommate. It is simply a mystery. I asked my son where the roommate is and he said he didn’t know. I asked if he had his cell ph number and he said he did not. I asked my son if he could go to the RA to get help and he said he had not seen him. I asked if his computer was working with the required MathCad and found out it is not working and will not work with a MAC. (We need to get him a new computer) Tips appreciated very much! We slected this school for the lodging experience. He is our only child- he really wanted to make new friends. He was “addicted” to videogames here at home and he doesn’t want to “go there now”. I keep assuring him and he keeps assuring me, but there are a ton of questions and no answers. Sorry for the dump!</p>

<p>The first week can be tough. Does his university have a running club? Even if not, he could probably meet people with similar interests at the gym.

I’m a little surprised by this. You know your relationship with your son better than we do, but I wonder whether he might have an easier time adapting to college if he were doing these kinds of things himself. Just a thought.</p>

<p>It will be all right. Your son will find non-religious non-partiers to hang out with. Just give it time. He hasn’t been there very long.</p>

<p>He has only been there a few days so relax. Once classes start he will meet plenty of people and eventually will find kids he feels comfortable hanging around with. Also, he will have a lot less alone time. </p>

<p>Since this is “welcome week” I would think all the clubs have tables set up with info and he should definitely check that out. </p>

<p>Does he play a sport? Lots of schools have club sports where anyone can participate or sports like Ultimate Frisbee and broom ball which are done strictly for kicks.</p>

<p>He will make friends.</p>



<p>Don’t worry about the phone calls! And don’t worry later on when they dry up. One of my kids tends to call multiple times a day when she’s worried/under the weather/irritated/feeling a little awkward about something…and then not at all when things are going well.</p>

<p>Even though he may feel uncomfortable going to an event or activity by himself, encourage him to make the effort - there will be other people there in the same boat. Maybe make a goal to do one event/activity a day - try the gym, check out the student activities fair, join a pickup game of frisbee on the lawn etc. Do it even if the activity itself isn’t something that he thinks is cool - the activity is the excuse for mingling.</p>

<p>It will get easier once classes begin. </p>

<p>Just a note: the RA is not like a camp counselor. He should be friendly and pleasant, but it’s not his job to help people find friends. Whatever you do, do NOT contact the RA or ResLife office yourself!</p>

<p>D3’s roommate went missing for several days after moving in - turned out she was spending the time with her family, who had travelled pretty far to get there. Once she showed up, she was perfectly nice, even though they never became BFFs.</p>

<p>“If he says no, then I just don’t know how he’ll find friends.”
There have been some good suggestions here- gym, library, clubs or activities, school job or volunteer- all the things that go on when kids are not partying. And, in class. Another great way for guys is to head for the common room whenn there’s a game on. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t have an interest. Show up enough and somehow the others just figure you are part of the group.</p>

<p>Though I agree with Stradmom that early on, calls can be frequent- and then dry up- you can encourage him to solve some of the small problems on his own- I couldn’t begin to tell my kids how to open their mailboxes ad how they pay for laundry. </p>

<p>And, do not call the RA. Good luck.<br>
By the way, what were you losing sleep over?</p>

<p>When I posted that he may be a possible dud, I did not intend to convey that I was condemning the kid. Not at all. It just was a huge disappointment to me personally- I had hoped for so much more interaction. What a shame. Let’s hope it gets better.</p>

<p>College kid here going into my final year … Okay, technically I’m not a kid anymore, but I do have some experience:</p>

<p>It’s difficult to find good friends in college. There is a party and drinking scene at most colleges. Personally, I like your son’s attitude. I don’t like partying and I don’t drink (personal decision - I’ve been 21 for a few months now). There’s nothing wrong to sticking to your principles. Actually, this makes it easier (in the long run) to find a smaller group of friends that you’re close with, can get along with, and have similar interests. Clubs and extracurriculars (I’m not talking about frats, but sports, volunteering, and music to name a few) can offer a good start where your son can find people with similar interests, so once the semester starts, it should be easier to find friends. Some people in college do have several groups of friends: work friends, class friends, club friends, work friends, friend-friends and etc. </p>

<p>A note: College is much more difficult and rigorous than high school is, so if you really want to do well, you need to study effectively or put the time investment in and keep fun times in check, especially if your student is aiming for postgrad studies. (It’s also very difficult to get good-paying jobs these days … I’m very fortunate to have a great full-time job offer lined up next year, but I’m spending this semester exploring grad school options)</p>

<p>I used to call my parents every night at school. Nowadays, it’s usually a weekly Sunday night call, perhaps if they’re lucky, twice a week - I use texting a lot more often to save time … my goal is to make sure I still keep in touch with my parents so that they don’t think I’ve fallen off Planet Earth.</p>

<p>One of the challenges in college is finding a good balance in living your life. There is no “correct” way; everyone finds his or her way, and I’m sure your son will too. For some, it does take some time. </p>

<p>Good luck to your son! :)</p>

<p>Personally I think the next time he skypes I will have a drink in my hand- ha ha! Big smile- WTHeck-what else can I do?! :slight_smile: The latest is that there is a hurricane barreling towards the college. It can only get better at this point. (smiling)</p>

<p>Don’t worry Momof2012gradvhs, it’ll be all right. :)</p>