I Just Said No!

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BY CECILIA LUCK, a recent college graduate 

college life is fun, but tough. Anyone who thinks otherwise has obviously never been through the college experience. College is fun because lifelong friends are made and a degree eventually earned. Two activities make it tough. The first is work, which most students do to make it financially to graduation. Classes are the second activity. Five to six classes are usually taken per semester with each professor seeming to have the mind-set that their class is the only one being taken, considering the amount of homework given (which, by the way, isn’t as bad as I thought it was at the time).

These two activities, if not balanced properly, can lead to negative stress. How this stress is handled is what’s important. There are a number of ways college students deal with stress. Some positive ways can be saying no to nonacademic activities, adjusting time schedules, or for Christian students, having prayer. An obvious negative way is drinking alcohol.

Drinking is becoming more prevalent on college campuses across North America. A statistic from Mothers Against Drunk Driving states that “over two out of every five of all college students are binge drinkers.”* The word “all” in that statistic leads me to conclude that they aren’t limiting this to secular college students. Christian college students are using alcohol as stress relief as well.

Yet there is hope--not every single college student is drinking alcohol. I know there are students, specifically those who are Christian, who know how to deal with the hard times during college in healthier ways. Take me, for example. I am a recent graduate of an Adventist university. I have never touched a bit of alcohol in my life, nor was I going to start in college. There are reasons I made this decision. It’s common sense to know that alcohol has damaging effects on the entire body. It weakens the mind and destroys the central nervous system. And yes, if the body gets too much alcohol the result is death. By looking at it from just the physical perspective, I didn’t have to think twice about drinking. But more important, I looked at it from a spiritual perspective as well because I am a Christian. God created me, and my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. To put anything harmful into my system would be dishonoring Him.

During my five years at college I survived the tough times and stress by prayer and the support of my friends. My body, mind, and spirit were healthier as well, and still are. There is no need to depend on harmful fluid when I can depend on the solid Rock.


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