How to Hide Your Drinking From Your Parents When You're in College

Three Parts:Maintaining Your Good ImageMaintaining Your Academic PerformanceSustaining a Healthy Relationship with Your Parents

Do you have strict parents that think you are perfect? Are you afraid that they will punish you severely if they find out you're drinking in college? It is against the law to drink underage and if you are drinking underage and you get caught, you can suffer major consequences. However, it is not against the law to drink when you are of the legal age to drink and in college. If you are of legal drinking age, but you do not want your parents to know about your drinking habits while you are in college, you may take steps to hide it from them.

Part 1
Maintaining Your Good Image

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    Make sure your drinking is not putting you or others at risk. While drinking with friends can be fun to do on weekends, drinking alcohol can swiftly become a serious problem if it starts to get out of control. One of the signs of alcohol abuse is hiding your drinking from loved ones, including family and friends, as you are aware that you can no longer control your drinking. You may feel guilty or ashamed of your drinking and lie about drinking or keep it hidden to prevent being judged or questioned about it.[1] If you are hiding your drinking from your parents because you suspect you may have a drinking problem, you should seek help right away.
    • You may seek help by talking to a university counselor ora therapist on campus. You may also talk to close friends and discuss your struggles with your drinking.
    • It may also be a good idea to talk to your parents about your drinking, as they will likely care more about your safety and well-being than whether or not you are drinking irresponsibly. It may be worth reaching out to your parents, as they can help you and support you.
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    Pace yourself when you are drinking and be responsible. Keep count of how many drinks you have throughout the night and recognize your limits. This could be three beers, four glasses of wine, or even one pint. Once you start to feel like you’ve had too much, stop yourself or ask friends around you to make sure you stop drinking. If you drink too much, you could end up doing irrational things that could put yourself or others in danger. There could also be consequences that would require a call to your parents to let them know you were drinking irresponsibly.[2]
    • You should also keep an eye on your drinks when you are at at a bar or in a club, as you do not want to drink a spiked drink and end up getting into a bad situation.
    • Do not drink and drive, as this can lead to serious consequences that can put your life and the lives of others in danger. You should also discourage others from drinking and driving.
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    Stay fit. Avoid raising suspicion of your drinking lifestyle by maintaining a good physique. This could mean taking up a sport in college, running three to four times a week, or doing weekly fitness classes. Staying fit will also help you to burn off any weight gain due to your drinking and give you a healthy, youthful appearance that you can present to your parents.
    • Staying fit with a busy school schedule can be a challenge. Try to fit in exercise whenever you can, such as biking to school every day if you live off campus or taking the stairs rather than the elevator to your classes.
    • Remember that when you are consuming alcohol, you are consuming calories. If you tend to drink a lot at least one to three times a week or drink every day, you will likely gain weight from your drinking habit.[3] If you notice you are gaining weight due to your drinking habit, you should cut back and limit your alcohol consumption.
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    Eat healthy. Maintain a healthy diet so you can work out and stay physically fit. Eating well will ensure you maintain your health and recover more quickly from your hangovers, thereby preventing your parents from noticing a tell tale sign of drinking too much the night before.[4]
    • This means skipping processed foods or microwave dinners and trying to cook meals for yourself at least four to five times a week. Pick a day to go grocery shopping every week and make a meal plan with your roommates in your apartment or your dorm so you can eat healthy meals together. If you are limited to access to a microwave or a hot plate, you can try to cook healthy meals using what you have.
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    Call your parents when you are sober. If you are going to college far from your hometown and have weekly calls with your parents, plan your calls so you are talking to them when you are sober and feeling energized. This will ensure you sound normal and responsible during the conversation and your parents will not get suspicious.
    • If you tend to video chat your parents, this point is extra important. You do not want your parents to see you looking intoxicated or stumbling around in your dorm room as you speak to them.
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    Surround yourself with good, stable friends. Parents will often judge their children based on the company they keep. Surround yourself with good, respectable friends who project responsibility and honesty to your parents. This will help you to maintain a good image and show your parents you are surrounded by positive influences.[5]

Part 2
Maintaining Your Academic Performance

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    Set aside time to study and do your assignments. To hide your bad habits in college, it is important that you maintain a high academic performance. Make sure you dedicate enough time to studying and completing your assignments. Often, if you are doing well academically, your parents will be less suspicious that you are drinking or doing reckless things while in college.
    • You may want to set up a study group with your peers to keep you on track and to ensure you meet your deadlines.
    • You can also use an organizer on your phone or your computer so you are aware of when your assignments are due and can block out time to complete them. This will help you to prioritize your academics over your drinking habits, though this does not mean that you have to stop drinking altogether. Instead, it just means you will need to balance your school work with your free time activities, including partying and hanging out with friends.
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    Show up for class on time and participate. Another way to maintain your academic performance is to make sure you attend all your classes and are on time. Show the professor that you are engaged, and not just drinking all the time, by participating in class as well. Raise your hand and contribute to the discussion in class.
    • This will ensure you get high participation marks in your classes, which will also ensure you maintain a high grade point average. Your professors will likely take notice if you do not show up for class several times in a row or you appear to be hung over and sleeping in the back of the room. Impressing your professors with your clean, sober behavior in class will allow you to fly under the radar.
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    Focus on doing well on mid-terms and final exams. Though you may enjoy drinking and partying, you should try to ease up during mid-terms and final exams. It may be possible to scrape by without attending too many classes but failing your mid-terms and your final exams could lead to a failing grade in your classes. This could then alert your parents that something is going on with you and that you may be spending too much time hanging out and partying.[6]
    • Prepare for your exams by taking good notes in class and participating in a study group. You should also mark down the mid-term exam dates and the final exam dates for your classes in your calendar so you can prepare in advance for these important exams.
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    Present your high GPA to your parents at the end of the term. Coming home for a visit with great grades will surely impress your parents and quell any suspicions they may have of your drinking. You could also email or mail a copy of your grades and your grade point average to your parents as proof that you are staying on top of your studies.
    • Parents are usually very concerned about how their child is doing in school and will focus primarily on their child's high grades and high GPA scores.[7] They will likely be satisfied that you are staying focused in college and not spending too much time drinking if you show them a high GPA.

Part 3
Sustaining a Healthy Relationship with Your Parents

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    Avoid drinking around your parents. Though this may seem obvious, it can be tempting to get a drink when your parents are not looking or in another room. But to maintain your good image, you should not drink at all in front of your parents or around your parents. The last thing you want is for your parents to see you drunk.
    • Over time, you may want to start drinking a few drinks in front of your parents. If you are of drinking age, drinking alcohol responsibly is part of becoming an adult and becoming independent. You may gradually start to drink in front of your parents as a way to show them that you can be mature and not get out of control when you are drinking.
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    Follow your parents’ rules when they visit you at college. If you know your parents are coming for a visit to your dorm room, clean up the room and keep in mind your parents’ rules. This could be basic etiquette rules like no elbows on the table or more serious rules like no drinking, smoking, or swearing at the table. Follow your parents’ rules as much as possible to avoid arousing their suspicions.[8]
    • Your parents may not approve of drinking alcohol in public. If this is the case, you should avoid drinking in front of them to prevent offending them. Being on your best behavior and following your parents' rules will also show them that you are responsible and respectable. Your parents will then be less suspicious of your bad habits, including your tendency to drink.
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    Talk to your parents if you think your drinking is getting out of control. If you feel as though your drinking habits are no longer in your control, you may want to reach out to your parents for help. Though you may be scared of the repercussions, being honest about your drinking to your parents may be the necessary first step to dealing with your drinking issues.[9][10]
    • You may choose to speak to one parent that you feel closer with or that you feel will be less strict with you. Select a place and time where you will have privacy with this parent to allow you to express your thoughts honestly and sincerely.

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Categories: Campus Life