Tips for Parents
Senior celebrations and graduation countdowns are beginning to kick into high gear. While many of these involve good, clean, safe fun, others may involve risky drinking behaviors.
This concern has caused one school in New Jersey to put a stop to the tradition of seniors visiting their old freshman residences and partying with alcohol, reported the Star Ledger. This year, during the three-night celebration, no alcohol will be allowed in the residence halls.
Misbehavior by seniors in previous years, along with recommendations from a school alcohol summit made last year, led to this decision. Many students and faculty members believe the death of a new student nearly one year ago, found in a residence hall trash chute after a night of drinking and partying, could also have impacted the decision.
Connecting with Your Student
So, talk with your student about the campus celebrations being planned. Even if he isn't a senior, he may be participating with friends who are set to graduate. Some things to help him consider include:
- What does he want this next month or so of school to include?
- How will he feel good about leaving campus and/or giving his graduating friends a good send-off?
- How will he balance his social/ interpersonal needs with his academic/ organizational/job commitments?
- What will help him really feel like he has closure?
- If alcohol is in the mix within some celebrations, how is he going to make responsible, ealthy decisions for himself?
You can't be there to make decisions for your student. What you can do, though, is to help him consider the bigger picture beyond "graduation parties." Talk with him about intent, his feelings, decision-making and more. This is an emotional time for students who are graduating or anticipating the departure of good friends. Your care and concern can help make it a bit easier — and a good deal safer.
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