What is Peer 2 Peer Anyway???

The first weeks in college are, simply put, overwhelming. Adjusting to classes, meeting new expectations, making new friends, living constantly in the presence of other people, are major changes in a social environment. There are no exceptions when first-years in their initial month on campus are trying to figure out how best to “do Bowdoin.” There is no simple answer, and that’s why people come up with different answers and strategies. That’s what makes everyone’s four years (or so) at Bowdoin so unique.

And one question all first-years must answer is what they want their relationship to be with alcohol. Bowdoin prides itself on bringing together a diverse group of students from different backgrounds and unique experiences, and this diversity certainly holds true with experiences related to alcohol. Some first-years come to Bowdoin self-identifying as “well experienced drinkers,” and others have yet to lay their hands on a finely brewed Natty Light. Whether students at Bowdoin drink or abstain from it, what unifies the Bowdoin experience is making an explicit choice about the relationship you want to have with alcohol.

Why do we have to make a choice about alcohol? Because all social groups on campus, in one way or another, interact with its presence.

Making these choices can be hard, especially when adjusting to a new environment that is college. That’s what prompted Peer Health to launch the Peer 2 Peer program.

Starting Tuesday, Peer Health members will meet with all 495 members of the First-Year class to facilitate conversations about the role of alcohol in the social scene. These conversations are meant to be reflective, in that they are an opportunity for first-years to take a step back, reflect on the interplay of alcohol and social dynamics in their first month at Bowdoin, give first-years an opportunity to set goals for themselves, and ask questions.

Whether you are student who drinks or doesn’t, you can get something out these conversations. Peer Health is here to talk about what you want out of your Bowdoin experience and help you find ways to make the experience you want a healthy and happy one.

Questions about Peer 2 Peer? Email a Peer Health member, or Whitney Hogan, Coordinator of Health Education, at whogan@bowdoin.edu