The Dangers Of The Party Culture at Miami University

The Dangers Of The Party Culture at Miami University

And why we need to start talking about it.
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Miami University is the #1 public ivy in the country, and what Robert Frost approves as "the most beautiful campus that ever there was." Known for being the Mother of Fraternities, and for the world renowned Farmer School of Business, all 8,456 students call Oxford, OH home.

However, there is a whole other side to Miami University that happens behind closed doors. Much to the dismay of the university, Miami is consistently ranked in the Top 5 party Schools in the Country -- this year it has a record of the #1 party school in Ohio, and #4 in the US.

And even the public can't help but to take notice.

Recently, Miami's campus was swarming with news channels as arrests and hospital admissions for drug possession, alcohol, and hazing allegations among sororities and fraternities spiked.

As 27 students were sent to the hospital in a period of one week, the hidden life behind Miami University is being revealed.

I personally can say, there is not only an evident drinking problem at Miami University, but a substance abuse problem in general. "Those who are enrolled in a full-time college program are twice as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than those who don’t attend college."

However, I also want to address, that these problems lie at every university, whether they are rated as high up on the "Top Party Schools" list or not.

But at Miami, we aren't talking about substance abuse or recognizing it as a problem. It's time we start.

Not only do most students binge drink, but I, or close friends of mine, also know at least 12 students who exhibit several symptoms of actual alcoholism. In addition, most people I know can also say they have met around seven other students who have an addiction to the anti-anxiety medication, Xanax, another 15 who regularly use cocaine, many who smoke marijuana, and countless others who buy and/or sell the ADHD medication Vyvanse to study or overcome hangover; these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Substance abuse does not just happen at Miami, but it is a growing problem here in Oxford, OH.

I spoke with a female who struggled with addiction and, as a direct result of substance abuse while at Miami, withdrew from the university. She asked to remain anonymous, but described her experience:

"I loved Miami, but it wasn't a healthy environment for me. That doesn't make it a bad school, it just makes it a hard school for people who are predisposed to struggle with peer pressure and addiction.

As a freshman, I made friends, loved my classes, and I loved the campus. But what I loved most was that I was able to do whatever I wanted with no consequences. The freedom was everything.

I smoked weed everyday. I drank heavily to the point of blacking out 4-5 days a week. I tried cocaine for the first time and continued to use it from time to time afterwards as well.

What made me start using? The pressure. Miami has a million beautiful girls who have a size 0 waist. Every student expects you to have the same! It was all of that -- the intelligence, hot guys, etc.

Most importantly, there was enormous peer pressure to keep up with the party scene.

Sophomore year, I took MDMA, and that's when I really got addicted. I even started to take it before class! Then, after the come-down, I'd turn to Vyvanse or Concerta to study. To sleep, I took Xanax. Not to mention, I was still binge drinking most days, too.

Starting to see the cycle? I was definitely on a downward spiral.

I slept with men and can't remember their names, I woke up places not remembering the entire few days before, and I was super depressed and began cutting. I never ate and had severe body dysmorphic disorder (when a person sees flaws in the mirror that aren't really there. Usually associated with weight). I even got an STD and had to get it treated.

But that's not the worst of it. It all crashed down one night when I hadn't slept in six days. I had a breakdown and became unconscious after doing cocaine. When the hospital checked my system for substances, they found five and saw the cuts on my arms.

I was admitted to the psych ward and my parents came to pick me up. After two weeks of inpatient therapy, and now over one year of weekly outpatient sobriety therapy, I can never to go back to Miami.

I'm not usually this honest about what happened because I am ashamed, but I'm doing this interview to spread the word that these things do happen.

It could be the boy next to you in your Calculus class, or the girl on the treadmill at the gym. The peer pressure at Miami and at all colleges is real, and a huge problem.

Yeah, Oxford is a small town you're only in for a couple of years, but addiction follows someone forever. I could have died, and I'm lucky I didn't.

So, if you could tell your article readers one thing for me, it would be that it could be you who becomes an addict. I was a straight A student and popular. Most of the people in my sobriety meetings were! The pressure got to me, and I just never ever want someone to go through what I did.

It's just not worth it."

Overall, it's important to recognize that the 27 students who were recently hospitalized are just the surface of those struggling with substance abuse here at Miami. Miami University, as well as college in general, isn't for everyone. There are immense amounts of pressures in a college setting, and young people (ages 18 to 24) are already at a heightened risk of addiction.

Make the change to be supportive of others when they choose not to drink and/or do drugs, and start talking.


(888) 983-0667 -- Addiction Center's 24/7 confidential helpline

Cover Image Credit: The Odyssey Online

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Why Ignorance In Our Country Is Not Bliss

And it never will be.

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The saying ignorance is bliss is a bunch of crap. Ignorance is ignorance.

With everything going on in our country, I think it is very important for us to be educating ourselves.

You don't trust the news? Do your own digging.

You don't understand? Do some research.

You don't have the same perspective? Share it.

You only have your religious beliefs to base your knowledge? Learn before you judge.

We live in a scary world today. People judge others they've never met or before they've ever heard their story. People involve themselves in matters that they shouldn't be involved in. People are trying to regulate other people's bodies.

People don't want to learn about the issues they so strongly believe in. People don't want to hear the other side. When did party affiliation become more important than being a human being? When did men get the power to decide what women can do with their bodies? When did we stop being compassionate? When did we stop being decent human beings?

I don't want to live in a world where I have all these questions.

I don't want to live in a world where a judicial system will convict a woman who got an abortion after she was raped, but won't convict her rapist.

I don't want to live in a world where my social media timeline makes me want to cry.

I want to live in a world where everyone's opinion matters, not just the one you agree with.

I want to live in a world where everyone's voice is heard equally, not just the one's in power.

I want to live in a world where everyone's story is taken into consideration, not just the one's the government wants you to hear.

I want to live in a world where I can raise a young girl and not be afraid for her.

I want to live in a world where we do good.

I want to live in a world where we have differences, but that doesn't make us any less equal.

I want to live in a world where we don't judge before we know.

I want to live in a world where religious beliefs are respected.

I want to live in a world where it doesn't matter what political party you are.

I want to live in a world where people see right from wrong.

I want to live in a world where I am not afraid.

What kind of world do you want to live in?

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