Completing a rehab program is a major accomplishment in your journey to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. However, you may be nervous as to what lies ahead for you now that you are returning to everyday life. For some, going back to school is the next step after rehab. This can be daunting and anxiety-inducing as they worry about potential stressors and maintaining their sobriety. It is possible to maintain your sobriety and find success in school following completing a rehab program provided you have the proper support and mindset.
Facing Fear Head On
The thought of returning back to school can be terrifying for many just out of rehab. They may have had educational issues in the past because of their addiction. They may be worried that they won’t be able to fit in, while staying sober. They may have fears that they won’t be able to create honest and long-lasting friendships and that the stress will be too much. There are so many questions in their minds that this can cause many anxious feelings.
Some survival methods in addiction include lying, manipulating, and isolating from other people. It can be hard to go back into daily life after rehab now attempting to make honest friendships if you haven’t made them before. You may also be stressed because of classes and other aspects of college life.
The important thing to keep in mind is that there will be times you feel stressed or overwhelmed. But you must also remember that you have felt these things before and have overcome them. Think about the difficulties of rehab and how you put in the work to get through them. You can do the same with college. Join sober living clubs on campus and make sure you have the proper support to get yourself through any tough times.
Only Take a Couple Classes
Upon your return back to school, it is recommended to only take a small load of classes during your first semester. This will keep your stress levels down as you transition back into college life. Balancing sobriety, friends, and school can be a lot to handle. Doing yourself a favor by taking fewer classes can help tremendously.
Contact a School Counselor
Whether there is a counselor to help students returning after extended periods away from school or a general counselor to help students, it is wise to be in contact with this person. Counselors are there to provide you with advice, support, and connections to other parts of college life. When you feel as though you are struggling, go to your counselor, and seek advice on what you can do to improve your time at college. If you are worried about fitting in, while being sober, ask for some club or activity recommendations that are happening around campus to get the college experience without threatening your sobriety.
A great way to set yourself up for success in school is by keeping yourself organized. Having a daily routine is crucial to recovery and has shown to be extremely helpful for many recovering addicts. By using a planner or scheduling app, you can keep track of your classes, assignments, club activities, and more. You can write down upcoming events as professors mention them or as you see them advertised around campus.
Make sure you have all the resources and supplies you need, such as a backpack, pencils, pens, notebooks, books, and more to keep yourself organized and prepared for classes. Being organized will reduce any stress because you will always know where your notes are and when assignments are due. You will feel confident in yourself as you walk into classes.
Talk to Your Professors
This is entirely optional because it is understandable to not want to advertise your recovery situation. However, if you feel comfortable, you can discuss your situation with your professors or simply tell them you are returning to school after a break. You can mention your addiction if you want, but again this is up to you and what you are comfortable with. Having open dialogue and communication with your professors will help them understand what is going on in your world and provide you with any extra support you may need as you transition back to college life.
Turn Down the Pressure
It is easy to put pressure on yourself because you feel you are behind everyone else, you are stressed about adjusting to school life, and you are trying to maintain your sobriety. Try to remember that you are exactly where you need to be and you will graduate on your own time. It is brave and a sign of strength to return to school after completing rehab. It shows your willpower to reclaim your life. Ease up on yourself and remember that you are capable of anything.
Going back to school after rehab can be overwhelming, causing you to have a strong influx of various emotions. Taking the proper steps to adjust and not put so much pressure on yourself can make all the difference. Take it slow and listen to what your body and mind are telling you you can handle. Staying connected with support groups and using recovery resources can help your sobriety while coping with daily student life stressors. At Northstar Transitions, we want to set our clients up for success in life after treatment. We can provide you with the proper support and resources you need to be successful in life after addiction. Remember that slow and steady wins the race, and the fact that you have not only gotten sober but now want to better your life through education means that you are truly healing. For more information, contact us at (303) 558-6400 today.