It’s Graduation Season! So many college students are graduating after 4 or more long years of studying, taking tests, late-night writing sessions, papers, projects, internships, surviving 2020 and the year of Covid. And now….drum roll……the Big Day has arrived! Time to celebrate!!
As you and your loved ones gather to honor this major life accomplishment and look ahead to What Is Next in your Adulting journey….I just hope that you take a pause break to make sure that you are not packing any unintended hitchhikers, along with your degree.
Tag along with guests of partying and substance abuse- who have decided to accompany you into your next season of life, and won’t leave when evicted. The lasting remnants of partying and substance abuse who have taken up residence in bodies and souls during your college years.
So what is the line between health and substance abuse?
When you go off to college and it’s “normal” to party, when does that normal gathering with friends for drinking and sometimes trying other things, cross a line and start going down a pathway, leading to substance abuse, and addiction?
“Alcohol or drug use starts with experimentation or voluntary use. In this stage, the use is infrequent and, in the case of teenagers, the substance is usually obtained from and used with friends in response to peer pressure to drink or use drugs.” As stated in an article from Stanford Children’s Health.
“Statistics from the research show the prevalence of college drinking, revealing that about four out of five college students drink alcohol, with about half of the students who drink consuming alcohol through binge drinking. Sadly, the consequences of abusive college drinking are devastating, impacting a student’s life in multiple ways. It is estimated that almost 2,000 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.” As stated in an article from Addiction Hope.
The Main Issue
As you leave college and begin your career, it’s time to evaluate what habits, and beliefs you may have picked up during your college years about partying and how to have fun. Are those habits serving you well?
Samuel Johnson once said “The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken,” and so it is with drinking, pot, and pills. They promise relaxation and fun, but they rarely deliver more than regrets.
The apostle John, Jesus’ best friend, quotes Jesus, “The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But I came that you would have life to the FULL (some versions say abundantly, or overflowing).” (John 10:10 NIV)
The enemy of your soul would like to lure you into a lifetime of habits that seem innocent enough at the time, but ultimately, regular use of alcohol, pot, and/ or pills will lead you to a path of destruction, not a happy life you are seeking.
The enemy would like to kill you. Kill your hopes, your dreams, your gifts, and talents. He would love nothing more than to steal your destiny, destroy your life, destroy your family, destroy your relationships, and turn you into a slave to habits and substance abuse. He would like to destroy your joy along with your health, brain, memory, moods, and ambitions leaving you with a trail of bad decisions and regrets. He won’t stop until he ultimately steals your life.
Jesus came for you to have LIFE to the FULL.
- A life overflowing in peace, joy, health, and contentment.
- A life marked by healthy relationships.
- A life of discovering your gifts and talents, then fulfilling that purpose with Jesus.
- He has so much for you!
Maybe now is a great time to evaluate how much time, money, heart, and soul of your life has been poured into partying, binge drinking, getting high, and/or recovering from a night out.
What it’s truly costing you? Are you depressed? Anxious? Struggling? Filled with regrets?
Maybe just maybe it’s stealing from you exactly what Jesus came to give you. Maybe it’s time for FREEDOM. “It was for freedom that Christ set you free. Do not subject yourself again to a yoke of bondage and slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
If you are finding that partying is taking more than it gives, you are not alone. The struggle to break free into a healthier life is real, and you don’t have to do it alone.
You were created for community, and belonging. We all were created for celebrations and joy. My friend, it’s so important to evaluate where your current friends are leading you. Are they leading you toward the abundant life God created you for, or are they leading you on the path of abusing substances in the name of fun?
Maybe it’s time to level up.
Time for friends who are real, and who have your back in life. “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. ” (2 Timothy 2: 22 NIV) Maybe it’s time to let Jesus set you FREE!
Maybe you are ready to level up and join a LIFE GROUP ( LIFE = LIVING IN FREEDOM EVERY DAY) filled with others who are seeking to follow God and grow in their relationship with him. A group of friends who will support you in your journey.