Applying to Colleges after Recovery from Addiction

Happy young man traveling with backpackContributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Addiction to drugs or alcohol can single-handedly destroy your life and everything that was once important to you.

Because of the damaging consequences that often result from addiction, you may find that the dreams and goals you once had for yourself are no longer realistic or perhaps even unattainable with addiction overtaking and ruling your life.

This can be a difficult thing to cope with, even through the recovery process from addiction. The aspects of your life that have been damaged or lost may not fully be understood until recovery and sobriety is sustained.

Addiction Can Ruin College Dreams

One goal that may be easily destroyed by an addiction is the aspiration and dream of successfully attaining a college degree. When under the influence of drugs or alcohol and struggling with an addiction, the hope of becoming a college graduate can be thwarted and postponed.

Even for college students already enrolled in school, an addiction can prevent a student from reaching their potential or finishing their college degree successfully. Some students who are in college and struggling with an addiction may find that they need to drop out of school or take a leave of absence due to the severity of the addiction behaviors.

Returning to College

Studious Woman Writing SomethingWhat happens when you have been in recovery and are ready to return to the college scene? Or perhaps you have worked hard in your recovery from addiction and are now considering the possibility of attending college and obtaining your degree.

The good news is that recovery from addiction can open the door to countless possibilities for you, and things that you thought may not be possible for your life can now be within reach, thanks to the work and effort that you have put forward in your recovery.

Following the Right Steps to Enroll or Re-enroll

It can be overwhelming and difficult to know how to get back into college or how to apply for school for the first time. The process of applying for college can be challenging and tedious, but with the right tools, help and support, you can find your way back into the classroom.

Depending on where you are hoping to attend college, the steps involved for applying to school may be different. If you are applying to college for the first time, you will want to consider many factors, including what you are planning on studying and the type of program that you are hoping to enroll in.

If you are not quite sure what type of discipline you want to study, you may consider enrolling in a junior college and taking a variety of general courses. Having exposure to a variety of different disciplines may help you understand what area or field you are interested in pursuing.

Figuring Out the Requirements for College Enrollment

Business people waiting for job interviewApplying for college often requires the submission of scores from a standardized test, such as the ACT exam or SAT exam. These are national exams that are globally recognized by college admission teams to help a school determine a baseline of your knowledge.

While this is not the only requirement that admission teams look at, it may be an important factor for many colleges.

Be sure to work with a college admission counselor to determine what requirements are needed for your application. Your counselor can also help you figure out if you have any gaps in your application and the best way to fulfill the requirements for submitting your college application. If you are missing an exam score or class requirement, a counselor can also guide you in the best ways to fulfill these requirements.

Step-By-Step Recovery

Rebuilding your life and establishing new goals for yourself while in addiction recovery are possible, step-by-step. If going to college has been a dream of yours, it is important to know that with careful planning and preparation, that dream can become a reality.

Maintaining your sobriety and utilizing the many resources that are available to you will be necessary components for applying to and enrolling in college after addiction recovery.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Have you applied to college after addiction recovery? If so, what helped you get back into school?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 12th, 2015
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