A letter to Mercer students on drug awareness

Dear Mercer Students,

I have thought of so many different topics to write op-eds about; some that will make you laugh, some to make you think; some will even make you ponder about where you are going in this great big world. Today though, I want to discuss something that I feel is growing worse on college campuses across the country, and that is the use of drugs. This can refer to the abuse of prescriptions, marijuana or even harder drugs. Now for those of you who didn’t just roll your eyes and move on to the next story, please understand my concern.

I have been here for four years now, and through the good times and bad times, my focus has been on helping you all grow and develop while at Mercer. Some of you may think of me as the
“buzzkill” who enforces policy and stops students from having a fun time, but really those of us enforcing policy are following the old adage, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” While you all are technically adults, this adage still applies. If you get away with everything and have no boundaries while in college, you will carry that over into the real world, which is much less forgiving.

We have seen drug use by students go up nationwide, and despite whatever scientific research says, I believe that drugs are addictive. While they may not have the additives that cigarettes do that force addiction, your brain naturally likes the feeling you get while using drugs, and will gladly spur you on to give in to that feeling again. So regarding marijuana, if you like the emptiness and being “removed” from the real world, you will naturally do it again. Eventually it becomes who you are and defines you, and I think that you should be concerned anytime you want to escape the real world so much that you change your identity. Alcohol is often used as an escape too, so if you feel like you have to drink in order to have a good time or be able to function, you should be concerned as well. The song “Sober” by Pink really touches on this!

A great man once said, “There is a time and place for everything, and that is college.” While I agree that college is a time to spread your wings, know that this is also a time where you still have a few lifelines if you do make a mistake or need help. For one, we have a great CAPS office which offers free counseling. Once you leave college, good counseling usually starts at $100 per hour, so why not take advantage now? Also, you have people who care about your well-being. All of the area coordinators in Residence Life, along with many other Student Affairs professionals are here to help you succeed. If we can help you, whether through offering advice or just listening, that’s what we are here for. There isn’t a topic that is going to make us run out of our office covering our ears. Whether its addictions, religious discussions, significant other problems or just wanting to run a thought or idea by someone who will give an honest opinion, that’s what we are here for.

While I seem to have gotten off topic, I hope you understand the message that I am trying to get across: there are people here who care, and if you are having any sort of problems, let us know. We want you to do your best, and we would like to be able to help you before it’s too late.