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Student Stories

Sobriety was always something I dabbled with but was never able to completely stick to- until I found CSR. I never realized how important support was when attempting to stay sober in a college environment. The Center for Students in Recovery provided me with the support I needed and so much more. It gives me a place where I feel welcome and accepted, issues and all. I immediately felt so connected with everyone, and admired everyone for their strength and dedication to self-improvement. Instead of facing my addiction alone, CSR introduced me to a ton of people who would help me battle my dependence issues and provided me with tools in which to live a more rewarding and happy life. Sobriety has been just a byproduct in my journey; this new life that CSR has shown me is greater and more fulfilling than I ever could have hoped for or expected. I've found a new family at CSR and whenever I am here I feel I'm truly at home. If you're having doubts, just come to one meeting to see what it's all about- what do you have to lose?!
Julianne
julianne
CSR has been extremely vital to my continued recovery and enjoyment of life on campus. I am part of a group that relates to one another in a way that most collegiate groups, formal or informal, simply cannot. Due to this understanding, I no longer suffer from the loneliness and isolation that once drove me to drugs and alcohol. It has been truly inspiring to witness the incredible transformations that have occurred in me and others thanks, in part, to this program. I sincerely doubt that I would have been able to make it to graduation, or lived an enjoyable life the past two years, without the fellowship of the students and directors of CSR
Eric M
eric
My first semester at UT was, at first, a little rough. Trying to get accustomed to full-time University life while trying to maintain my program of recovery can be, at times, a bit challenging. CSR realizes this and pulls together great resources, mainly other students. A couple of the guys at CSR immediately gave me their numbers for support; another guy showed me around campus and showed me where to go for tutoring.  Another guy just shared with me his experience, because the semester prior was his first semester. Having a place where I can go and connect really takes a lot of stress off. By the end of the semester my grades were good and I no longer had that overwhelming feeling of being in over my head. I am blessed and grateful for The Center for Students in Recovery.
Dewayne T
dewayne
When I found out that I would be returning to the University of Texas during the summer of 2011 I was beside myself. Having been sober for several years prior to re-enrolling I knew that I would need to find a community of like-minded individuals within the university setting that would help me excel. I found and became an active member of the University of Texas Center for Students in Recovery. Participation in this group on a weekly basis has made me feel more connected with the University through the service opportunities and resources that it provides. The ability to strengthen my connection to Austin, UT and others is an important aspect of my life. The groups of students that are involved with CSR have taught me more than I could have imagined. Having the ability to go to students who have gone through the same concerns about classes and college life that I may be having and bounce ideas off of them is an amazing learning opportunity that could only come from CSR. In addition, Ivana is a critical component of my experience with CSR. They have been able to help me navigate the ever changing university landscape with their experiences and expertise. CSR has provided numerous opportunities to share my experiences with others and to be on the forefront of this growing collegiate recovery movement. These opportunities and the enduring support from everyone involved with CSR have allowed me to integrate a solid program of recovery into my academic life and for that I am grateful. I look forward to a lifetime of involvement with the Center for Students in Recovery. Hook 'Em.
Jon M
jon
In 2011, I was a student at Austin Community College, and I'd been sober for two years. I intended to eventually transfer to the University of Texas at Austin, but I was intimidated by the prospect at first. Before I even considered applying to UT, I chose to attend a 12 step meeting hosted by the Center for Students in Recovery. I immediately felt welcome, despite the fact that I wasn't a UT student yet, and I started going to meetings there regularly. I began to have conversations with other students about issues that sober students face, and solutions that others had found to similar problems. I found a community at CSR, full of support and friendship, that I hadn't even realized I was missing! When it came time for me to apply to UT, I had built a wonderful network of friends to support me during the process, to tell me about their own experiences when they applied, and to help coach me through some of my stronger fears. I don't think I could have made it through that process, while continuing to work a strong program of recovery, without my CSR community. Two weeks ago I received my acceptance letter to UT, and I'm thrilled to have an opportunity to work towards my dreams! The Center for Students in Recovery is a wonderful resource for students in sobriety, and I'm looking forward to helping other students transfer and supporting them as they work hard to achieve their goals!
Dominique V
dominique
Before attending The University of Texas at Austin, I was enrolled in a small college in Maryland. At the time, I had achieved a year and half of sobriety, but the college that I was attending was not supporting or supplementing my recovery. In fact, the institution was hindering my progress as a recovering individual, and was destructive to my sobriety. Upon transferring to UT, and becoming involved in The Center for Students for Recovery, I finally came to understand the integral role played by peer and community support upon the process of recovery. Through the allies obtained at the Center, as well as the opportunities for growth encountered, my recovery has evolved into a structurally sound, stable entity. Thanks to the daily 12-step meetings held at the Center for Students in Recovery, the peer and staff support, the volunteer and service opportunities, workshops and social events, I have discovered the joy of recovery.
Kate
kate
The people at CSR are simply fantastic, loving, and genuine. I have just completed my freshman year at UT; it has been a transformative, fundamental year of my life. The growth I've endured is unfathomable. CSR was an instrumental part of that growth through opportunities to serve, good friends, and regular accountability.
Cameron T
Cameron
Even before I was accepted to UT, the Center for Students in Recovery (CSR) was there to support me. I started out attending their Celebration of Recovery meeting, which is an open, all-addiction meeting every Tuesday night at 7:15. During this time, I became acquainted with Director of CSR, Ivana Grahovac. During my process of applying to UT, Ivana supported me by being there to answer questions, and by offering me a letter of recommendation. One major reason that UT is such a great fit for me is the support I get from CSR, as well as the chance I have to give back to the community and to those still suffering from the disease of addiction. I know that as addicts we recover together or die apart, and CSR provides a great platform for sharing the solution to our common problem of addiction, which starts when one addict reaches out to another, which is what CSR is all about.
Angus
angus
The Center for Students in Recovery gave me the ability and the opportunity to be of service and give back to others within the group and in the community. Service work is extremely important for my recovery as practicing the Twelfth Step (among other maintenance steps) is what allows me to keep my disease of alcoholism and drug addiction in remission.
Heather S
heather

CSR has helped me grow intellectually and socially. I am able to hold meaningful conversations with people, and honestly appreciate their views. I have learned to love and to let love into my world; even from the least likely places. CSR has been critical to my recovery and those who I see there on a weekly basis are a central piece of my progress. I am grateful for the CSR community.
Jessica T

jessica
When I finally showed up to a meeting at CSR, I was immediately made to feel safe. I was sobbing uncontrollably, both from shame and from a profound sense of relief. That relief was what kept me coming back. Finally, I had found people who knew exactly what I was going through. Finally, people who could listen to the details of my addiction without being horrified! These people had taken all the pain of those darkest days and turned it into something positive. Soon the shame melted away, and was replaced by hope, instead. Hope was all I had, at first. I certainly didn't have much strength, but it didn't matter: I had all the collective strength of my supportive peers at CSR to lean on during that time. I threw myself into my recovery program and into CSR, and before long I did feel strength start to grow in me. Feeling pure, guilt-free joy and love helped build that strength. Life didn't immediately get easier, nor will life ever truly be easy: instead I learned how to react to life in a way that is both kinder and gentler to myself, and to my fellows. I'm not just a happier person inside and out: I'm also a better grad student, a better researcher, a more effective and attentive teacher, a true friend, a dependable sister and daughter, and a helping hand for others in recovery from this disease. I have purpose, love, joy, and hope in my life, and CSR helped to make that happen.
Sierra C
sierra
The Center for Students in Recovery first and foremost helped me graduate from the University of Texas at Austin. During my first year at UT, I became seriously dependent on amphetamines to get me through school work, and alcohol and opiates to help me come down in what became a vicious, life-threatening cycle. I finally bottomed out my senior year and began failing classes, something I had never done before in my life. After an unsuccessful attempt at graduating along with a near-deadly drug spree, I knew I needed help. The first place I turned to was a drug counselor at University Health Services, who directed me to treatment and then CSR. The following semester I was back in school, sober, and attending meetings at CSR. I tried to resume a normal life along with the stress that comes along with it, but in reality I wasn't equipped with the necessary skills to handle college newly sober. As a result, I relapsed and withdrew from the university to focus fully on recovery. During those years away from school, I stayed connected to CSR, attending meetings and social events. The constant support I received from the students and staff helped me to eventually come back and earn two hard fought degrees in Studio Art and in Radio-TV-Film. I am sincerely indebted to CSR for making my overall college experience a good one. Even though many of my college years were marred by drug addiction, with a lot of work I was able to pull through and graduate sober. I continue to support CSR because I know there are people just like me who need help and I want CSR to be there for them as it was for me.
Chris
chris
I heard about CSR and came to Austin one weekend to check it out, not sure what to expect. What I found blew me away - here were many men and women my age who were merrily working the program, completely unaffected by UT's rampant party culture. So I returned to UT, having found the faith that because of CSR, I was going to be okay. I wasn't disappointed. CSR is more than just a place to go for meetings. The fellowship, which grows each semester, has both helped me through times when I couldn't have stayed clean on my own and put people in my life that I can help. CSR introduced me to the idea of having sober fun shenanigans - one of the greatest experiences in my sobriety was the CSR Halloween Sober Pub-Crawl. The Center has also provided me with ample opportunities to do service work like stadium cleanup and speaking at local treatment centers, and has rewarded me for my participation with scholarships. The best thing CSR has given me is the opportunity to see it grow, to see people come in discouraged and discontent, as I was, and then to see them find friends, fun and a solution to their troubles. I can honestly say that getting to be a part of that is one of the greatest things in my life.
David M
david
The Center for Students in Recovery provided a place on campus where I felt safe, comfortable, supported and understood. Before going to CSR, I felt isolated and like there was no one at the university who could relate to me. It really gave me the sense that I was not alone and that there were other students just like me struggling with the same disease. In addition, being involved with CSR allowed me to get involved with service opportunities which enabled me to receive a scholarship that helped me tremendously! If it were not for CSR and the great people who supported me there I would not be sober today and would not have graduated from The University of Texas at Austin! I am so grateful I found The Center for Students in Recovery!
Ashley
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