Last week I had a conversation with Fredonia’s Director of Counseling. She told me that the national rate of alcohol use among college students is declining, but that marijuana use is skyrocketing.
She said many students come to her for counseling because their mood is low. Come to find out these students are smoking a lot of pot, which obviously causes low mood. It turns out that students are scared to stop smoking pot because all their friends are smoking pot: “If I stop, will I lose all my friends?”
In April I wrote this blog post, called Drinking Less Alcohol. Substitute “drink less alcohol” for “smoke less pot”:
“An athlete recently told me that he wished he could drink less alcohol, but it was hard when his friends were doing it. I really didn’t know what to say.
But I’m pretty sure that every person comes to a point where he needs to make a decision: conform to expectations, or stand out.
And I’m pretty sure the decision to stand out will always be scary.”
It’s likely that smoking less pot will cause you to lose friends. After all, if you smoke less pot your friends need to smoke less pot to keep being your friend. Your friends are too scared to do that.
This is how behavior change works — at any point in life. It might be a good thing to practice while you’re still in college.