Going Back to College After Recovery
College can be an amazing experience for many people. One of the major parts of the college experience is the social aspect – making new friends, letting loose after a long week of classes and attending social events. However, for many students, this newfound freedom can cause them to experiment with their limits, often causing an addiction. If you have recently completed an addiction program and are considering going back to college after recovery, you can still find many ways to enjoy your college experience in a new way.
Timing for Going Back to College after Recovery
One of the best things about finishing a treatment program is the feeling of your new lease on life. That feeling that you can tackle anything and that you now have the tools you need to live a healthy life can be empowering. This can feel like a good time to go back to school, however, don’t jump into anything too soon. College is full of triggers, such as stress from schoolwork or temptation for partying, so make sure you’re not taking on too much too soon. Allowing yourself time to decompress for treatment before going back to college after recovery is totally acceptable.
Preparation is Key
College can be full of unpredictable things, which can trigger a relapse. Make sure you are prepared before going back to college after recovery, such as knowing where to go to support meetings or having a plan in place to keep your sobriety a priority. It’s also a good idea to prepare your schedule so that you don’t have too much free time.
Consider a New School
Even though starting a new school and making new friends can seem like a stressful situation, it might be better for your sobriety to consider going to a new school. If you’re going back to the same college after recovery, you may easily fall back into old patterns and habits. Surrounding yourself with the same people and triggers might be too much to handle. Going to a new school offers a fresh beginning and could be much better for your long-term sobriety.
How to Stay Sober in College After Recovery
If you’re going back to college after recovery, it’s important to find new ways to fill your time instead of parties and substance use. It might seem like you have to avoid a social life at all costs in order to now be successfully sober while in college, but that’s not always the case.
Make Sober Friends
As mentioned, one of the most enjoyable parts of college is creating a new, wealthy social life. That doesn’t have to go away just because you’re sober now. There are plenty of other people who are sober, or who don’t want to spend all their time partying. Check with your school to see if they offer a sober club meetup or if there is a nearby sober support group. Spending your time with sober people will help keep you on track, offer accountability and also gives you the chance to exchange advice and support during hard times with each other.
Take Up a New Hobby
While studying and schoolwork are priorities while in college, let’s be honest – you need to enjoy some off time, too! Instead of spending your free time at frat parties or other triggering social events, take up a new hobby. This can include anything from learning a new language, finding a new exercise program, volunteering or joining a rec team. The great thing about college is that everyone is constantly trying new things, so don’t be afraid to look around and ask others.
Make Self Love a Priority
One of the most important aspects of staying sober is making sure your stress levels and anxiety are properly managed. If you become too stressed out and anxiety reach new highs, there is a large potential for relapse. You can avoid this by making time for you and your mental health. Spend some time every day going on a walk, exercising, eating right and doing things that make you smile. This can also include getting massages, meditating or watching funny movies before bed. Whatever makes you smile and helps you relieve stress – do that.
About Pinelands Recovery Center
Going back to college after recovery doesn’t have to be scary. As long as you find the right timing, prepare in earnest and find new ways to fill your time you can still enjoy a wonderful college experience. Just make sure that you have your support system in place and keep your self-love a priority to keep yourself on track. Walking across that stage at graduation is going to be that much sweeter knowing how hard you worked to get there, and that you did it sober!
Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is widely known as one of New Jersey’s finest, most respected addiction treatment facilities. With comfortable 30-bed accommodations and 24-hour professional staff, we can offer clients a serene, relaxing environment amid the lush piney woods. This stress-free setting with its sense of warmth and welcoming enables you to feel comfortable and confident about your clean and sober life ahead.
We will establish clear goals, both general in nature and specific to your needs. We continue to monitor those goals, to make sure that our clients are progressing and buying into their recovery plan. We thrive on assisting clients in feeling connected to the recovery community, share and demonstrate effective coping techniques, help clients to modify attitudes and patterns of behavior and everything else you will need to be happy and productive living a sober, healthy life.
We ensure that clients complete their planned concrete tasks, encourage hope, optimism and healthy living. Our recovery program is not a revolving door treatment program; it is a recovery model designed to help clients go on to lead productive, happy lives. For more information, visit pinelandsrecovery.com