Students need to use good judgment
As kids, we all longed for the day when we would leave for college and be able to make our own decisions.
For most of us, adulthood has come with a plethora of fantastic perks and an equal amount of unnerving responsibilities. The ability to take off on a spontaneous road trip at 2 a.m. on a Thursday is pretty amazing, but having to pay for the car accident you got into while rushing back to class the next Monday is not.
As exciting as being out from under the control of one’s parents is, it’s an undeniable fact that many college students struggle with their newfound freedom.
The idea of balancing checkbooks, schoolwork and yourself as you walk from a frat party back to your dorm room can be a bit daunting.
According to a poll conducted March 18, 2008 by The Associated Press and mtvU “most students in U.S. colleges are just plain stressed out, from everyday worries about grades and relationships to darker thoughts of suicide.”
As a full-time employee and student, I can relate to the overwhelming feelings most students feel.
In the midst of their stress, many students turn to outside vices. The problems come when they work so hard to fulfill all of their obligations that they become too reckless when it comes to other activities.
According to the poll, 40 percent of college students are binge drinkers; 68 percent of sexually active college students have engaged in unprotected sex, and nearly half of them have never been tested for STDs.
But it doesn’t stop there; statistics show that 33 percent of students engage in illegal drug use of some kind, be it recreational use of marijuana or the abuse of harder drugs.
Everyone at UH is an adult and has the right to make their own choices, but being unnecessarily reckless only adds to the sheer amount of stress students already have.
On top of regular responsibilities, many are faced with STDs, DUIs and unplanned pregnancies because they don’t fail to see the consequences of their actions beforehand.
Some students choose to stay away from these things altogether, but abstinence is not for everyone.
When students choose to engage in these activities, it’s extremely important to make sure they are done responsibly.
Those who choose to drink can take simple precautions to protect themselves. Make sure you have a designated driver, don’t leave your drink unattended and go out with friends you trust.
If you choose to have sex, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself for free. Plenty of clinics in the Montrose area offer free birth control, and the clinic here at the University offers discounted STD testing throughout the year.
Students who are feeling overwhelmed can also seek solace in the University’s free counseling. Ten free sessions are offered, and after that, payments are based on a student’s income.
We only have this one life to live, let’s not ruin it before we have the chance to really start it.
Liz Price is a communication junior and may be reached at [email protected]