07 SEPT 2021

Top 5 Tips to Stay Sober During Back to School Partying Season

Are you worried about breaking your sobriety during a back to school party? Read on to learn how to stay sober during this time of year.

Going back to school is one of the most exciting times of the year. It's your chance to settle into your new home on or off campus, get used to your new class schedule, and see old friends and make new ones.

Also a part of this fresh start, though, is the lingering possibility that you fall back into your old ways. It's hard to go back to college life when for many people a big part of that is drinking and you're trying to stay sober.

Obviously, college is about much more - but how can you make sure you stay focused on the good things it has to offer? Use the five tips below to help you maintain your sobriety.

1. Say "No" to Parties

The best way to stay sober is to steer clear of alcohol altogether. You don't have to go out when all of your old friends do. Opt to sit out the syllabus week parties and boozy tailgates and find other ways to socialize.

Understand now that this may mean you end up losing touch with old friends. But, there is huge value in realizing who's a real friend and who's someone you just party with. The less you go to parties, the more you'll recognize who is who.

2. Make Sober Friends

Losing touch with old drinking friends means you get to bring new sober friends into your life. You'd be surprised how many people in college (and life as a whole) choose to be sober. Some people do this because of their past while others would rather not fall into a drinking downward-spiral in the first place.

Either way, it's good to get to know others for who they are besides their sobriety. Find common interests you share with the classmates and roommates around you and watch how your sobriety and your social life flourish.

3. Find Good Things to Occupy Your Free Time

Another good way to stay sober is to fill up your schedule. Try to occupy your free time as much as possible so the temptation to go out and drink is much smaller. You can distract yourself with anything from joining an academic student organization to playing intramural sports to getting a weekend/nighttime job.

4. Focus on Your Overall Health

Sometimes, one of the best ways to occupy your time is to spend quality time alone with yourself.

Take yourself out on dates even if it just means reading your favorite book at a coffee shop or watching Netflix for the night. Make exercise and healthy living a priority.

Shifting your focus like this makes you stop thinking about drinking and escaping your problems to creating a happy and fulfilled sober life. It does wonders for your long-term sobriety and your emotional wellness in the present moment.

5. Find Smart Alternatives to Drinking Plans

The thing about drinking in college is that it's everywhere.

You shouldn't have to miss out on being at the football game because you don't know how you'll handle the tailgate. You also should enjoy things like a sorority formal and an academic conference despite not drinking at them. These are just a handful of occasions you don't necessarily have to say no to, you just have to be smart about them.

Don't show up at the stadium until it's time for kickoff so you're not tempted to drink at a tailgate. Sign up to be a sober monitor at Greek events and academic overnight trips. Such decisions allow you to enjoy all that college has to offer without compromising your newfound lifestyle.

Stay Sober All Year with Sober Living Housing

Here's another way you can stay sober at the beginning of the school year all the way through winter and summer break: try sober living! Sober living puts you in a housing community with other people who are sober. It makes it easier to step back from the drinking lifestyle and to break the ice with new friends.

To find out more about sober living, click here.