There’s no shortage of changes when you’re in recovery. Whether you’re a high school student, college student or an adult looking to make a career change, going back to school is a major transition to take on when you’re in recovery for substance abuse. To maintain your recovery while getting your education, it’s essential that you know how to set yourself up for success.
Create a Community
Find New Friends
Chances are you’ve both lost and gained friends during your recovery for drugs and alcohol. Keeping these new friends who positively influence you is vital. Finding more in your school environment who will support you on your journey to sobriety is equally as important. These friends can act as a support group to help you shoulder the emotional and mental weight that often comes with recovery.
Connect With Your Teachers
While you don’t necessarily have to tell your teachers you’re in recovery if you aren’t comfortable doing so, you should at least make an effort to connect with them. Doing so is sure to make both your sober life and your student life much smoother. Forming a connection with your teachers also makes it easier to approach them when you need help in class or just need someone to talk to. Write their prep or office hours down and visit them during that time to connect out of the classroom.
Focus on a Sober Social Life
Because so much of college life often revolves around alcohol, those in recovery should take steps to immerse themselves in sober spaces. Depending on the school, there might be sober dormitories as well as support groups for those in recovery. This is a good way to make sober friends who know just what you’re going through and can support you just as you support them.
Consciously Plan Your School Lifestyle
Develop Healthy Study Habits
Some students turn to stimulant medication like Adderall and Ritalin to boost their academic performance during crunch time. This can lead to the need for substance abuse treatment,. You’ll want to develop healthy study habits so you aren’t tempted to relapse or embrace this new addiction. This means getting all your homework done on time, studying a bit each day so you don’t fall behind, preparing for tests and exams well in advance and finding quiet places to study that are free of distractions. During all this, be sure you take breaks so you don’t burn yourself out. We suggest purchasing a planner, writing all your due dates in and then back tracking for how long you’ll need for assignments. Many schools offer time-management seminars during the first few weeks,; these could be a great place to start!
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out for Help
No matter how far you’ve come in your recovery, there are bound to be times when you feel yourself slipping. Only you know your limits, and it’s best you reach out for help before you reach those limits. Start to recognize your triggers so you know when to take action, and find people who will help you get back on track. Get plugged in to your school’s counseling office and stop by for regular check-ins so, if you do need help, you’ll be comfortable asking for it.
Consider Enrolling in a Recovery School
To help keep stress and temptation at bay, it might be a good idea for you to consider enrolling in a recovery school. What’s great about such schools is students receive an education but do so within an environment that supports their recovery.
Get the help you need surviving school while still in recovery. Reach out to us here at Rehab After Work for more tips and ways to live a fully realized life of sobriety.