The first six to ten weeks of college are the most crucial for freshmen. While a student’s participation in underage drinking does not necessarily predict their academic future, it certainly has an impact on it. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reported that an estimated 1,825 deaths, nearly 600,000 injuries, and almost 97,000 sexual assaults occur each year as a result of college students’ underage drinking. Important to note is how the “rapid increase in heavy drinking over a relatively short period of time can contribute to serious difficulties with the transition to college.” Statistically, about one-third of first-year students fail to return their second year.
In addition to adapting to campus life, first-time college students encounter a vast amount of personal freedom that has the potential to make or break their academic career. By engaging in the online alcohol awareness program Alcohol-Wise, incoming freshmen experienced greater knowledge of alcohol consumption and its possible consequences.
In the short-term, students demonstrated a general understanding of how their high-risk drinking behavior could harm themselves and others. A study showed that Alcohol-Wise was also successful in that it had a positive impact on first-year college students’ high-risk drinking behavior and attitudes. Overall, they were less likely to engage in binge drinking and drinking games. The preparatory Alcohol-Wise course offers first-year students the tools they need in order to successfully adapt to college life. By spreading awareness, Alcohol-Wise can help limit the risk of alcohol-related assaults, injuries and deaths among college students.