As I walk into The Haven at 9pm on a Saturday night, I am amazed by what I see. Every seat is filled, the staircase is lined with familiar faces. College students spill out into the kitchen and onto the front porch. The room is buzzing with conversation and laughter. And then with a simple knock, it goes quiet. We direct our attention to the front of their room. A student begins to tell their recovery story. This is a story of struggle and resilience, strength and hope. This is the story we share- what it is like to be young and sober on a college campus.
When I imagined my life without drinking, I never could have pictured this scene. I struggled with drinking throughout my college experience. I remember thinking that if I was just strong enough, careful enough, smart enough—I would find a way to control it. What was wrong with me? I felt ashamed and alone. I didn’t know that there were countless other college students on campuses across the country who were having the same experience. I didn’t know that by admitting I needed help, I would be connected with an incredibly supportive and caring community. I didn’t know how good my life could be.
The Haven at College gave me a community and taught me that I should be proud of my journey. I now see my recovery as my greatest strength and am so grateful for everything I went through to get me to this point. I stay close to the Haven community because there is nothing like seeing the look in someone’s eyes when they come to the Haven for the first time and realize that they are not alone.