According to CollegeDrinkingPrevention.org, studies show that among students between 18 and 24 years of age,
97,000 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape;
400,000 had unprotected sex and more than 100,000 students report having been too intoxicated to remember if they consented to having sex;
599,000 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol; and
696,000 students of the same ages are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
The drinking culture that pervades almost every college campus is troubling at best and dire at worst, especially for women. Not too long ago, I reported on a disturbing condition called “drunkorexia,” a pseudo-medical term referring to the deterioration of health resulting from students choosing to starve themselves during the school week so that they can save up money (usually the male reason) or calories (usually the female rationale) for a weekend of binge drinking, usually every weekend.
The alcohol culture is a scary part of the college experience from a parent’s perspective. But when it comes to young women entering college as first years, managing the party scene is only one of the many challenges they should be prepared for. Stress is also an enormous and growing factor among college freshmen. A recent survey showed that the emotional health of first-year college students has significantly declined. The survey found that every year, women had a less positive view of their emotional health than men, and the gap between men and women has widened. The state of the economy—which has translated to mounting school debt and decreased job prospects for students—has only added to student stress levels.
In addition, the way students are interacting and communicating—the relentlessness of the Internet and social media— adds a very fast-paced and public dimension to college relationships and the social environment. Bullying and sexting are the big name pitfalls to the college social scene, but there are many other ways students can get themselves in trouble.
Parents of college students are rightfully concerned about the physical and mental health of their young adult children. At this letting-go juncture, we want to know that when we drop them off at the doors of their new dorms, our college newbies will be prepared and fortified in order to maximize and enjoy their college years! We parents of teens also know, however, that by the time they are packing to leave the nest, the effectiveness of our parental voices are greatly diminished.
In other words, at this point, much our parental warning and advice to our kids only sounds like, “ Wah, Wah, Wahhhh” to their ears. Sometimes, they need to learn new lessons and hear cautionary words straight from the experts.
And this is where Shari Fish comes in. Shari Fish , M.Ed., CWC, LPCi and founder of Shari Fish Wellness FITeens, is offering her FITeens Pre-College Workshop here in Houston this coming Sunday, April 17th. The workshop, which Ms. Fish offers in collaboration with The Women’s Fund for Health, Education and Research, is an interactive open forum discussion that helps participants explore their expectations, temper their angst and most importantly, formulate a clear plan for their first months on campus. Each participant will learn hands-on life lessons in time management, budget/finances, community building, exercise and diet and nutrition. They will discuss drinking, dating and sex, self esteem and sleep issues. Each student will leave with a Summer “To Do” list and a self-aware empowerment that will help them navigate their new college surroundings. As part of the program, students will hear from OB/GYN Merrill Lewen, M.D. and Jennifer Buergermeister, founder and owner of Jennyoga.
I have not had the pleasure of attending a workshop yet. But the program sounds awesome and Shari seems to cover many of the important and pressing issues for the college first year student.
This weekend’s workshop will be at the Houstonian Club, 111 North Post Oak Lane, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Registration is $185 per person and may be paid online or by check payable to Shari Fish Wellness, 12727 Kimberley Lane, Ste. 202, Houston, TX 77024.
Shari Fish earned her Masters degree inEducational Psychology/ Counseling at the University of Houston, and has completed her Wellness Coach training and certification through Wellcoaches Corporation and participated in the distinguished Harvard Medical School and Mc Lean Hospital’s Coaching in Medicine and Leadership Conference and the International Coaching Federation Conference. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the International Positive Psychology Association, and the Houston Wellness Association.
Click HERE for additional workshop dates in Houston and Austin, TX.