You want to go out with your friends and have a good time, but you’ve noticed your health takes a beating. Between the staying-up-too-late and the drinking scene, your social life can so easily derail you from taking care of your body, mind and soul.
Drinking on college campuses affects everyone whether they participate in consuming alcohol or not. Research has found that around 80% of college students consume alcohol and around 50% are assumed to participate in binge drinking (alcoholrehabguide.org).
Around 600,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured by alcohol each year on top of the already negative side effects. And there are many of those including dehydration, headaches, loss of balance, loss of memory, nausea, vomiting and negative effects on the brain that can have an academic impact.
Here are two ways to balance your social life while still honoring your health:
Tip #1: Consider substance-free activities.
NAU offers a wide variety of things to do around campus including concerts, guest speakers, movie screenings, free fitness classes at the Health and Learning Center, stress-busting events and more! Looking for something to do with your friends. Click on the NAU events calendar.
Finding activities that you enjoy on campus can help you feel closer to your campus community, a stronger emotional connection to your college, valuable memories and the potential to meet new people and make new friends that you already have something in common with.
Fortunately, Flagstaff has the potential for so many outdoor activities. You can hike, mountain bike, and ski or snowboard (weather permitting) without having to travel very far, you can take an outdoor walk or run at Buffalo Park or take a day trip to Sedona for more hiking, restaurant and shopping options. NAU also offers free yellow bike rentals through campus services. These bikes can be used to ride all over campus and explore historic downtown Flagstaff.
Tip #2: Cut back on the amount.
If you are 21 years old or older, some options for consuming less alcohol when going out include:
- drinking one cup of water after every drink
- setting drink limits for yourself (consider going cash-only and then bringing a small amount of cash to the bars)
- designating certain days for alcohol-related social activities that don’t interfere with school
- drinking slowly
- eating before you start drinking to lessen the effects you feel from the alcohol
- keeping alcohol out of the house to avoid or reduce “pre-gaming”
Alcohol is not necessary to have a good time and choosing not to consume it or drinking in moderation can create more meaningful experiences…that you’ll actually remember!
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