John Reynolds



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First-year students are at risk due to a university’s alcohol culture. This is creating a distorted reality of what college is about for many incoming students. First-year students assimilate into college with various external factors impacting their decisions; among these is whether or not to participate in high-risk alcohol consumption. Previous research focused on college environment, peers and the developmental stages of first-year students separately to identify how these factors impact a student’s decision to consume in high-risk ways. However, little research focused on the holistic impact of all three factors on the first-year student’s experience and alcohol consumption. This study demonstrated the effect of alcohol on first-year students and their overall experience by delving into their stories to understand their lived experiences. Eight interviews were completed, transcribed, and evaluated to develop a thematic understanding of their lived experience. By understanding each student’s story and their common experiences, interventions can be intentionally developed to assist students who are struggling or who might be at risk for issues throughout their college careers.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Nasser Razek

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education and Human Services


Stander Symposium poster, student affairs, School of Education and Health Sciences


Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

All we do is Drink: Impact of Alcohol Culture on First-Year Experiences at a Private University