Prepare your student for the drinking culture on campus

Be open and honest with your child while preparing for the campus drinking culture.

By Masaki Sugimoto, Editor-in-Chief

As a parent, you are excited for your child to be taking a new step in life and going off to college. Illinois is a school that ranks near the top in countless categories like engineering, disability services and more. One of those top rankings is the number one party school, according to the Princeton Review.

This can make any parent worry for the well-being of their student and their chances of leaving Champaign-Urbana with a degree. To make sure that you don’t have a student who goes overboard with partying, try having a talk with them. Ignoring the party culture that exists at the University will not help your student avoid it.

If you haven’t already, talk to them about alcohol and what it can do to the body. Also, let them know the repercussions of if they choose to drink while they are still underage. Regardless of whether the student decides to drink or not, it is important they know about drinking alcohol and what the consequences are.

The second is to ask them what their intentions are. Trying to be honest here is important because you must set a standard for them when they are off at school. Chances are you won’t be there when the student is asked to go out to a party or not. Your child will need to make that decision on their own. Setting this standard will be important, as it is one of the only ways that your student can use part of your judgment when you are not there.

Another tip would be to suggest alternatives. There are countless events, clubs and other activities that the University offers outside of the party scene on a regular basis. It can give your student different avenues to hang out with their friends and have fun. Drinking is not the only thing to do in college. There is everything ranging from lectures from influential individuals to tea drinking ceremonies that a student will be able to participate in.

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    Lastly, stress education with them. Going to the University certainly is not a cheap endeavor, and one poor semester can force your student to stay longer than they have to. College is going to be much more difficult than high school. Students may have a rude awakening when they figure out that they cannot do an essay all the night before and get an A. Partying too much before important classes or exams will not work either. No matter what they do along the way, the main goal is to leave Illinois with a degree in their hands.

    Ensuring that you set a standard and tell them what you expect out of them will go a long way for your child. They need to be able to know as much information as possible before making any decisions related to partying or drinking. But ultimately, your student is smart enough to make the right decisions for themselves. He or she got into the University in the first place, right?

    Masaki is a senior in Media.
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