What Freshmen Can Learn From Drug Addicts

This is part of a series of journal posts for my drug court project seminar. Enjoy!

Freshman Field HockeyAs part of my drug court senior seminar, we’ve been learning about addiction and treatment. One of the commonalities in successful treatment programs is their disruptive effects on negative networks.

Networks bring people to drugs, and drugs to people. It is very difficult to manage an addiction while living within the networks which reinforced its behavior. The broader lesson is: we play to those around us.

Freshmen need to know this. Who we are in public has to do with who we choose to surround us. If we’re cruel or bubbly or quiet or angry, that comes from inside. But whether and how it comes out depends on the values of the networks in which we are nodes.

I recently had a senior in high school email me to ask about CMU’s culture. She wanted to know if Carnegie Mellon was competitive. I told her, it can be if you want it to be. I’ve chosen to not allow it to be, and straying from groups I found toxic.

College is like rehab. It breaks us away from our normal patterns, and forces us to build a new community with new values. Perhaps this is a chance to change habits from our home networks.

Inspirational Quote:

“Life can’t be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years.”–William F. Buckley, Jr.

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