5 Biggest Mistakes College Students Make
For many, college years bring the first taste of a newfound freedom that accompanies life as a young adult. Many students enter college with feelings of excitement and anticipation stemming from being able to make their own decisions on their own time. Such decisions that college students will likely encounter at some point throughout their collegiate years are those regarding common college culture, including partying, drinking, and certain illegal activities. If one is not cautious, these decisions can lead to detrimental results, and in some cases, they can become life-ruining. With that said, here is a list of what our office considers to be the top 5 mistakes that college students commonly make.
1. Minor in Possession
Underaged drinking is rampant among many college campuses. Due to casual attitudes many students hold towards drinking, and the frequency of events involving alcohol, it is becoming increasingly easy for students under the age of 21 to get their hands on alcoholic beverages. Although these behaviors may seem like commonplace to students, the reality is that an underaged student who is caught with an alcoholic beverage can walk away from a night out with a Minor in Possession, or "MIP" charge. Receiving an MIP charge can result in serious consequences including jail time, fines, probation, and school disciplinary action. Although it may seem extremely common, underaged drinking, and the consequences that result from it, are easily avoidable.
2. Fraudulent IDs
Secondly, owning and using a fraudulent, or fake, ID is another one of the most common mistakes made by college students. Many students under the age of 21 purchase fake IDs, or borrow an ID from someone of drinking age in attempts to pass as being 21 or older at bars or clubs. Whether it be a borrowed ID from an older friend or sibling, bought from an online distributor, or picked up off the floor, having a fraudulent ID is illegal, and can result in a very serious felony charge. Felony charges can have serious negative ramifications for one's future including jail time, fines, difficulties securing jobs, and more. These lifelong consequences are not worth illegally owning a fake ID in order to be able to purchase alcoholic beverages underaged.
3. Driving Under the Influence
After having a few drinks at the bar with some friends after a long day, many feel as if driving a few blocks home may not be such a big deal. However, this is far from the truth. Substances including drugs and alcohol seriously impair one's ability to operate vehicles, and can cause extremely dangerous and harmful situations, including death. Despite the severity of this issue, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is, unfortunately, a common mistake that college students chose to make. Consequences of being charged with a DUI include probation, DUI school, required community service, victim awareness programs, substance abuse treatment programs. So, after a night of drinking or consuming substances, calling a taxi, Uber, or Lyft is the best option to get home safely without putting yourself or other drivers in danger.
4. Possession of Controlled Substances
A controlled substance is a drug that is regulated by the government, including many prescription medications. With that said, the possession and use of prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal. This relates to college campuses mostly in the form of Adderall, Xanax, etc. Students set out to purchase such drugs in hopes of increasing focus and academic ability, in the case of Adderall, or to feel calm and relaxed, in the case of Xanax. However, although it may seem harmless and common to take an Adderall before a big exam, there are legal ramifications that may result including jail time, fines, and drug court.
5. Not Hiring an Attorney
When college students are faced with the legal consequences of their actions, for example, receiving an MIP, DUI, etc., many make the mistake of not hiring an attorney for assistance. With the consequences of the cases above being as serious as they are, it is extremely important to speak with an attorney who focuses specifically on these kinds of cases. One should turn to an experienced attorney for legal advice, rather than relying on a friend or the internet. Even if the information seems accurate, it might not be. At The Law Office of Lee Meadows, I take the time to personally sit down to speak with my clients, review their options, and give no-nonsense advice. With 38 years of experience on cases like the above, I know the importance of hiring attorney to work towards securing the best possible outcome.
For more information on these topics, and some more, listen to my podcast, The Meadows Pod, on Soundcloud below.