It can be a difficult transition back to school after having to take a leave of absence for rehab. It’s important to keep in mind that putting your health and well-being first by going to rehab is a positive choice that should be considered a reflection on your ability to perseverance and show resilience in the face of challenging life situations. If you are close to completing a rehab program, or have recently finished rehab and are in recovery, reach out to Oasis Recovery to speak with a specialist about strategies for returning to school.
Tips for Returning to School after Rehab
1. Learn About Policies
Institutions have different policies about drug and alcohol abuse as well as taking a leave of absence. These policies may impact your ability to return to a specific institution or may require you to go through additional steps before returning to school. It’s important to be aware of the potential for reimbursements regarding tuition costs if you have missed a semester or have paid courses that you were unable to complete.
2. Research Sober Living Opportunities
If you are returning to college life, there may be sober living arrangements on campus. Reach out to a school counselor for information about how to transition into a safe space with others who are in recovery. This can help provide an additional safety net.
3. Crisis Support on Campus
Many school campuses have crisis support and after-crisis support systems in place. These programs are available to assist students who can benefit from onsite counseling. They may also be able to get you in touch with peers who can help keep you on the path to lasting sobriety and avoid pitfalls related to stress and anxiety about coursework and life on campus.
Support systems can help students in recovery navigate difficult discussions with teachers about their life situation. They can also help those in recovery link up with tutoring services.
4. Catching Up
Try not to get bogged down by anxiety surrounding catching up on coursework. Talk to your teachers about how you can meet requirements. Teachers should be understanding about the difficulty of admitting your personal situation and help you address your personal challenges. Other students may be able to help you catch up by providing insights into assignments and projects that you need to work on. Tutors and other academic support advisors are useful tools to keep in mind.
5. Self-Awareness and Personal Development
After rehab, it’s important to find ways to accept that you are in a new situation. In recovery, you need to use new tactics to approach situations and avoid high risk triggers. This might mean limiting time around certain friend groups or situations that could be temptations for relapse.
Try to embrace self-empowerment tools. You are a stronger person for having the resilience to come through rehab and be the person you are now on the other side. Step back and consider what this new version of you wants and needs to lead a fulfilling, positive, and healthy lifestyle in sober life.
6. Time Management and Stress
Be aware of sources that cause stress and anxiety. Do not overload yourself with too many classes, excessive coursework, or extracurricular activities that may lead to burnout and the temptation to abuse substances as a coping mechanism.
Remember, your most important responsibility is to yourself. In recovery, this often means letting go of responsibilities that get in the way of you maintaining a healthy and positive lifestyle that does not put you at risk for relapse.
7. Give Yourself Space Without Too Much Idle Time
Space to reflect and rejuvenate are important. Having too much on your plate can negatively impact your mental health and lead to temptations to abuse substances. Keeping that in mind, this must be balanced with activities to keep you busy. Too much idle time is risky for those in recovery.
Having too much free time can allow for mind-wandering that can lead to negative thoughts and emotions that encourage problematic behaviors. In order to avoid these negative thought patterns, try to fill your time with rewarding activities that do not take a heavy toll on energy reserves. You do not want to be too depleted at the end of the day as that can lower your ability to exert willpower in response to negative thoughts.
8. Financial Concerns
Finances can be a major source of stress. It is not a good idea to rely too heavily on personal loans and credit. Be sure to weigh your options. If your income and savings are not sufficient to allow you to return to school, you may want to consider focusing on work and saving more money before returning to school.
Be sure to consider the cost and benefits of your education. It’s more evident now than ever that some degrees have less long-term value than others. You may want to consider changing schools or pursuing a two-year Associate’s Degree as opposed to a four-year Bachelor’s Degree depending on your goals.
Your goals may have shifted post-rehab and it’s important that you take stock of what you want your future to look like. After all, this is your life and these decisions most impact you and your personal journey.
9. Balancing Work and School Responsibilities
Do a careful analysis of how much time you need to dedicate to work and school and make sure the balance is manageable without causing you too much stress. You do not want a work-life balance that results in you losing sleep and putting your mental and physical health at risk. Maintaining a healthy and consistent day to day routine is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle in recovery.
10. Focus on Your Present and Your Future
It’s difficult to strike the right balance. Being mindful of your present is essential for maintaining lasting recovery in sober life. Keeping in mind your desires for a bright future will help drive you towards meeting your goals. Navigating this can be difficult and it’s a good idea to maintain regular meetings with a recovery or mental health health counselor. You may also want to consider widening your safety net by establishing a relationship with like-minded others who attend anonymous group meetings like AA or NA.
Contact Oasis Recovery for More Information about Returning to School after Rehab
If you are looking into returning to school after completing rehab at a treatment facility, it’s important to contain the best path forward based on your personal circumstances. The professionals at Oasis Recovery can help guide you on the path forward. Call today to speak with a specialist about strategies for returning to school after rehab.