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Collegiate Students in Recovery: How The COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting Them

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As the world scrambles to figure out how to adjust, there is a population of people setting the bar for humanity. Collegiate recovery hosts a vast network of students who are thriving during this COVID-19 crisis.

As one student stated, “My body is in quarantine; however, my mind is free to create anything.” 

Each day I awaken, I am astounded by the uplifting energy and work of students in recovery. Understanding that self-help groups cannot meet in person, they quickly shifted to the online world. Amid this shift, they have opened doors to anyone in public looking for any type of help. This has created new networks and opportunities for growth that are entirely under the radar. A woman who has dedicated her life and career works to the health profession stated, “My students in recovery are such blessings in that they allowed me into one of there meetings when I was struggling with a personal issue. That meeting gave me the idea of doing morning mediation with yoga. Because of that my whole house has joined in, and it has become a blessed family event. I am forever grateful.” All across the country, there are countless stories of these online self-help groups changing the lives of everyday people. One may ask, how much further behind would the country be without this segment of people? 

Students in recovery are untapped resources. Students in recovery have seasoned souls. They are more dedicated to achieving their goals. Their focus is laser-sharp in response to the stigma society has placed at their feet as a people in sobriety. They tend to look up to the people others look down on because they know pain and struggle. They realize the value in time and try to use every second to better their surroundings. It is time we embrace collegiate recovery and end the notion of stigma outweighing the education of recovery. 

COVID-19 has decimated the world and it has sent many into mass hysteria. However, for students in recovery, it is another day at the office. Collegiate recovery students face a challenge every day to stay clean and sober, along with the hurdles of college. Their success through this has been the mindset of health equals wealth. When I entered college, I did not plan to have the blessings of being a national scholar or motivational speaker. Those blessings came as a result of the labor put into my health. Each day I entered class after prayer, morning medication reading, healthy breakfast, and taking medication. I put myself in the best possible mindset to be my best “me.” Recovery taught me that the foundation of my success had to be rooted in health. In the past, I was able to attain things but ultimately lost them because the foundation planted wrong. I now am blessed to travel the country speaking and national scholar with a full paid tuition to finish my bachelor’s degree. I can promise you without the tools of collegiate recovery and the focus of my health; I would not have those accolades. Collegiate recovery taught me the blessings are in labor. The yoga, self-help groups, healthy diet, exercise, volunteering, mediation are all for the preparation to achieve the honor’s society. Collegiate recovery has allowed me to become a walking weapon of hope with the platform to empower other people. My story is no different; millions of students in recovery right now excelling from their living rooms. As a nation, let us take notice and use these blessed people as a tutorial of how not to survive but thrive through this crisis. 

As my mother would say, “Word to the wise!”  During this time, it is easy to focus on the problem, but recovery has taught me the solution is the answer. Collegiate recovery has taught me to love the labor more than the fruit because then the fruit will taste much sweeter. Right now, a student in recovery is writing a book, creating a company, or doing something to build a new kingdom. I want to look back years from now and say I used this time to create something that made us better as humanity. I can get more degrees, money, cars, houses, etc.. However, I am never getting time back. I urge us all to use this time to create something to make the world a better place and be more like the example of collegiate recovery. 

 

Frederick Shegog is the Founder/CEO The Message LLC, a motivational speaking organization, and is a person in recovery. He is a high honors graduate of Delaware County Community College with an Associate of Arts (AA) in Communication and Media Studies, he can be reached for services at www.themessagellc.com.

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