We’ve all been there before. Finals are coming up soon, stress and anxiety are at an all-time high, and we are cramming and pulling all-nighters just to make it through. With stress going around like the common cold, why not unwind by hanging out with friends and having a drink? While that’s okay, it’s important to understand that moderation is key.
Many of us have found ourselves in these situations: We’re at a party and we’re nervous about talking to someone or we we’ve had a stressful day of classes, so we cope by using alcohol as “liquid courage” or as a way of relaxing. However, drinking as a coping mechanism only masks the problem and can lead to alcohol dependency. This can become a major problem because this can interfere with our sleep and even make our anxiety worse, which will make it almost impossible to focus on our upcoming finals. There are so many other ways to cope with stress in college. We don’t have to resort to binge drinking and hurting ourselves in the long run. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, and, if we exercise regularly, it can even lessen the effects of the dreaded hangover! If you ever go out and have a little too much to drink, do NOT try to drive! There’s no need. Every Friday and Saturday, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Shuttle Gus will give you a free ride home.
It’s important to remember that drinking isn’t the problem; excessive drinking is. Alcohol has been shown to benefit us in a multitude of ways: moderate drinking has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and it can help prevent the common cold. These are all great benefits, but we must remember that moderation is key if we want be healthy. If we ever find ourselves in a situation where we feel we need alcohol in order to have fun or relax, we must take advantage of the many resources at our disposal. Georgia Southern offers students up to 12 free counseling sessions per year, as well as emotional wisdom sessions offered Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and Thursdays at 10 a.m. There is no need to feel any kind of shame or embarrassment from counseling; I go to counseling and our counselors are very knowledgeable and understanding. As we begin to close out this semester, let’s be conscious about how much we drink and understand the importance of moderation as we drink. As always, remember that wellness isn’t about surviving, but thriving in our everyday lives.
Be well! Do well!