My fellow Americans (and other human beings), I am trying to come to grips with the depth of the chaos amongst us:
The Reality-Show President of The United States, global corruption, poverty, economic problems, genocide, racism, sexism, tribalism, nationalism, fanaticism, relationship conflicts, wars, perversities, suicides, obstinacies, homicides, mass shootings, embezzlements & other thefts, frauds, domestic violence, child abuse, etc.
So, WHY are We Surprised by the Misuse of Alcohol & Other Drugs?
I often say that my biggest concern is for the person who is NOT bothered by the world’s sufferings. Therefore, during one of my altruistic moments, I thought that The Universe was leading me to return to school to pursue my doctorates (thereby allowing me to become a “specialist” in my profession.)
So, while perusing the world-wide-web for online options, I was quickly “reeled-in” by the “recruiters” and accepted into a reputable doctoral program; approved for Federal Government Financial Aid; and promised that I’ll have opportunities to “change the world” (for the next 3 years in pursuit of my Doctor of Philosophy-PhD In General Psychology with An Emphasis in Integrating Technology, Learning and Psychology Online Program).
I was excited, and well encouraged by my friends and family. I had only a few weeks to prepare for the start of the first “online” class. Note: I was advised to budget 20-hours per week for this one class—clearly, nothing less.
Within the first five days of my 8-week course, I was drowning in expectations to “participate in online classroom discussions”—which included:
Two online discussion questions due each week where I had to post my initial response to the 1st discussion question by Day 3, and the 2nd discussion question by Day 5 of each week. “Participation can only be earned by posting substantive, quality messages to fellow classmates and the instructor in the Main forum of the classroom”.
To be considered ‘substantive’, the post had to be 150 – 250 words in length and include at least one citation. “One-liners, off-topic posts, vague statements, unsupported opinions, inadequate explanations or posts did not meet the substantive participation requirements”.
This was in addition to Assignment Submissions and Doctoral Dispositions—with all of the requested academic requirements for successful completion. Note: Each assignment had to be submitted using APA (American Psychological Association) writing style, and with a rubric.
And so, I was needing to learn the APA writing format; study the rubric scoring guide—which was used to evaluate my 1) performance criteria; 2) rating scale and 3) indicators; learn how to navigate the university’s electronic library (the ONLY source allowed to reference for research); oh, yeah, AND read ALL required readings and write assigned papers.
After successfully answering and submitting the first few discussion questions (within word-count-specifications) and gearing up for my first assignment, I knew that it was time to throw-in the towel.
With a 40-hour-a-week job and caring for a 94-year-old-mother, I would have to spend EVERY waking hour on the computer reading, writing, researching, answering, questioning, submitting, etc.
“I” realized that I did not need to be Super Woman.
As a result, and within less than a week of enrollment,
I became a Doctoral-Online-Student-Dropout—with no regrets.
And so, at almost $2,000 in-the-hole later (the cost of one week of school and a MacBook Air),
I learned a very valuable lesson. . .
Note--I am even typing this post from the newly purchased Mac . . .
I now know how much I value my freedom-of-speech—in “my” own writing style—with my own voice.
The most refreshing part of my website, for me, is the ability to type as many words as I want—how I want—when I want!
(NOTE: I have already been told that I have too many words for a blog—all I could ‘think’ was: “Then you need to stop reading when you get tired—after all, my site will still be at the same address should you choose to return–smiley-face.”).◊
→ See why I am not cutout for doctoral-level prose 🙁 . . .
Precisely, a scholarly-writer I dare not be 🙂 !
Just think, had I gone another month on the “doctoral journey”, they would have trained all of my personality away—I would have joined the rest of the academically-programmed-voices—writing, documenting countless-hours of unread, uncared-about words (yet, within the ‘required’ format & word-count!).
Needless-to-say, I, at almost-60-years-old, am most convinced that my experiences are never in vain—primarily because I try to keep my intent unselfish and spirit-led.
An additional no-regret for dropping-out of my doctoral program
was the opportunity to recognize my mother’s 95thbirthday last month —
now, how often does that come around!
And most importantly, and without trying to appear martyrdom, I can’t imagine being in the midst of this acknowledged drug-addiction-epidemic (aka opioid crisis) and not urgently be part of “trying” to contribute to its resolution.
Yet what came most to mind, during this costly-lesson-period, was the experience of realizing the stress that so many young people are undergoing while trying to pursue society’s “unrealistic” expectations of them.
Whereas I have 60-years of life experience and can throw-in-the-towel without thought, my generation (baby-boomers) has created a “pill-for-everything-culture” and then expect our young people to spread their wings to fly to success while they have never left their cocoons.
So, again I question, why are we surprised by the high rate of alcohol and other drug misuse amongst our youth?
NOTE: I believe you’ve read ENOUGH word-counts . . . therefore, We’ll Be Back After These Messages . . .
Soon after receiving my bill$ from the University for less than ONE WEEK of classes,
I was given the opportunity to make money with jewelry sells♦
I am an Independent Consultant for Paparazzi Jewelry; and
I invite you to SHOP ONLINE for BEAUTIFUL $5 JEWELRY . . . from My “Other” WEBSITE …. www.paparazziaccessories.com/200563
♦ Great Back-to-School Jewelry & Affordable Gifts for the Holidays ♦
. . . and
Like with me, it’s never too late to reconsider . . .
If you have a son, daughter, grandchild, niece, nephew, or friend who is in college, or planning to attend, please consider sharing information offered by NIAAA–National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
“The consequences of harmful and underage drinking by college students are more significant, more destructive, and more costly than many parents realize. And these consequences affect students whether or not they drink. …..
Although the majority of students come to college already having some experience with alcohol, certain aspects of college life, such as unstructured time, the widespread availability of alcohol, inconsistent enforcement of underage drinking laws, and limited interactions with parents and other adults, can intensify the problem.
Parents Can Help
An often-overlooked protective factor involves the continuing influence of parents. Research shows that students who abstain from drinking often do so because their parents discussed alcohol use and its adverse consequences with them. During these crucial early weeks, parents can do a number of things to stay involved.
Parents can help by:
- » Talking with students about the dangers of harmful and underage college drinking—such as the penalties for underage drinking, and how alcohol use can lead to sexual and other violence, as well as academic failure and other adverse consequences.
- » Reaching out periodically and keeping the lines of communication open, while staying alert for possible alcohol-related problems.
- » Reminding students to feel free to reach out to them to share information about their daily activities, and to ask for help if needed.
- » Learning about the school’s alcohol prevention and emergency intervention efforts.
- » Making sure students know the signs of alcohol overdose or an alcohol-related problem, and how to help.
Resources Are Available
For parents who want to discuss the consequences of college drinking with their sons and daughters, a variety of helpful resources are available from NIAAA at https://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov
ALSO, visit the blog that I was inspired to write as a result of being an Online-Doctoral-Student-Dropout 🙂 . . .
Click on → Time to Discuss College Drinking & Drug Use
Thanks for letting me share, Janis Small Omide