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Succeed in College

Alcohol Use

Information adapted from The Naked Roommate.

Harlan Says:

A lot of people drink, but that doesn't mean you have to.

If you can't handle drinking and going to school, then you're not responsible enough to do both. Accept that fact and pick one.

If you or someone you know has a drinking problem, seek help from your school or from a program in the surrounding community.

If you see someone who has signs of alcohol poisoning or is unresponsive, call 911.


If you choose to drink, remember:
  • If you're not an experienced drinker, go slowly and figure out your limits.
  • Don't take a drink without knowing what's in it or watching it be poured, and NEVER take an open drink from a stranger at a party. Roofies and other drugs are often tasteless, odorless, and colorless and can do a lot of damage.
  • Drink water and rehydrate.
  • Be careful! It's easier to hook up and do stupid things when you're drinking.
  • Be careful about interactions with prescription medications—these can be dangerous and even deadly.
  • Do NOT drive if you've been drinking. Think about the people you could possibly kill on the road and their grieving families, then think about your jail time if you survive. It's so much easier to walk or to call for a ride.
  • Make sure there is someone sober with you to help you stay safe.

Different schools have different policies regarding underage drinking. Sometimes you’ll receive a drinking ticket, which is basically a fine you must pay but nothing remains on your permanent record. Depending on the city in which you are caught, the punishment may be harsher. In some cases, your parents may be notified, you may be put on probation by the school, you may be kicked out of your dorm, etc.

It’s important that you understand the underage drinking policies at your school and in the surrounding community, so ask other students or look it up.


Myth About Alcohol Use

Information adapted from The 75 Biggest Myths About College Admissions.

Myth: Alcohol abuse is only a problem for a minority of students.

Reality: Almost all college students encounter problems related to alcohol on campus—either within themselves or with someone close to them.