How a DUI Can Affect Your College Experience

Skip The DUI And Get An Uber, Your Future Self Will Thank You

Getting a DUI in college can cost much more than the attorney fees.

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For many, college is a time to study, find what you're passionate about, make new friends, explore, and prepare yourself for the future. While choosing to do all of this, some decide to also work part-time and join various clubs and organizations.

With all this excitement and responsibility on your plate, it can be overwhelming. One of the ways students choose to release the stress is partying. While choosing to drink and have fun with your friends is completely acceptable, some students make the poor decision to drink and drive.

According to the government program, College Drinking Prevention, 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes each year. While you may trust yourself or feel totally fine to drive, it's not worth risking your future by getting a DUI or worse, risking your life.

What to Do After a DUI Arrest

After being charged with a DUI, the first thing you should do is retain a qualified DUI attorney in your area. An experienced DUI lawyer can contest charges, push for less punitive options, and ultimately ensure your rights are being protected. Rhode Island DUI lawyer Stefanie Murphy notes the severity of a DUI charge:

"You can lose your driving privileges, which hinders your freedom and your ability to get to work. You'll also have to pay fines and restitution to anyone whose property or person has been damaged. It is therefore in your best interests to fight against being convicted and to keep your driver's license."

How a DUI Can Impact Your College Life

Generally speaking, the police will notify the college of a DUI. As a result, various college privileges you've earned will be stripped away, including:

1. Inability to live in on-campus housing

Many colleges have a Code of Conduct they enforce and impose their own strict penalties for students who find themselves in legal problems. One common penalty is the inability to live on campus.

2. Inability to receive necessary licenses

If you are studying to become a nurse or lawyer, prior DUI charges can affect your admission to a subsequent educational institution. A DUI charge can also inhibit you from receiving your license, or admission, to a particular field. All this being said, it may force you to change your major and career path.

3. Expulsion

Depending on the college and DUI charge, you may be asked to leave the university. Regardless if you are able to shake criminal charges, the college board may still expel you for your behavior.


How a DUI Can Impact Your Life in General

Beyond your college experience, a DUI charge can significantly affect your life both in the present and for years to come. It can affect various important factors, such as:

Your Relationships

Family ties, interpersonal relationships, and your self-esteem can be damaged. Trust and responsibility in your relationships be hindered by your actions and make take time, if possible, to restore. Subsequently, you may find yourself struggling with self-esteem and how you view yourself.

Jail/Fines

Hiring a DUI lawyer can be costly. Then, the cost of bail, restitution, and paying for damages to your own car can add up. If you are convicted and have to serve jail time, you'll be losing out on much more than money; you'll be losing time from your life.

Driving privileges

Depending on the severity of the charge, you may have your license suspended or stripped away for years. Some offenders may receive a hardship license, which enables you to drive to work, medical appointments, school, or the grocery store.

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying drinks with friends in a safe setting, the moment the scene changes to a vehicle, it's a different - and dangerous- story. Don't risk your future and your life by getting behind the wheel after drinking. You have too much to lose.

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs / Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out RedBubble for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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I'm A Girl In Engineering And It's Not As Easy As It Looks

It's not always easy being the only girl in the room.

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Coming into college, I knew I wanted to major in engineering, and I was well aware that I would be in the minority because I am a girl. I always thought that I would be ready and prepared for this, but after being in college for a few weeks, I started to feel a little weird.

I noticed that I was one of the only girls in my lecture classes and it was rare if any of us ever decided to speak up in class or ask questions. Seeing as I am very introverted, I also struggled to make friends in classes where people didn't just take the initiative and talk to me. My classes seemed quiet and seemingly being the only girl in the room as intimidating.

Luckily, I did find friends within my major and I have been able to get to know them and study with them. We are always able to run to each other for help if we need to, and we always go to each other for group projects.

So, it's not always bad being the only girl in the room, just know that it will be weird. You will have to work extra hard to make friends, but you will be ok. Talk to the person sitting next to you, make friends. It will be awkward, but in the end, it'll all be ok.

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