Speaker encourages students to stay ‘TRU’ to self

The Student Activities Council at the University of West Georgia hosted Julia Garcia, the creator of truality.org, as a guest speak to inform students of the effects of sex, drugs, alcohol and everything in between. Garcia invented the saying TRU, meaning ‘The Real U’, to encourage people to be themselves and not try to fit in with others to be considered cool or popular.

Garcia openly discussed her rough life and the challenges she had to overcome to encourage students to take a path where there is less partying. Garcia’s father was in and out of jail throughout her childhood and her mother developed an addiction to prescription medicine. Throughout her life, she was never expected to be anything, and sports and partying is what she turned to when she was feeling depressed.

As Garcia’s life became more about partying, she began to suffer the effects on binge drinking, and as a result she was sexually assaulted by someone she knew.

“Two thirds of sexual assaults are committed by someone the person knows,” said Garcia.

After Garcia’s experience with sexual assault, she turned to partying to try and hide the pain she was experiencing.

“There is a stranger in the skin I’m in,” said Garcia. “Every time something happened I would turn to my best friend alcohol, but when I needed him he was never there for me.”

Statistics show that four out of five students consume alcohol and half of them consume alcohol through binge drinking. According to medical experts, binge drinking is four or more drinks per sitting for a female, and five or more drinks per sitting for a male.

Garcia explained her experiences of being high on prescription pills and abusing alcohol and how it made her a person she so desperately did not want to become.

“I almost lost my education and myself through drinking and abusing it,” said Garcia. “Everyone in my life who has died has been the result of drugs and alcohol. Alcohol is the third leading cause of death in America. Whether you are going through stuff, you can let it destroy you or define you. What defines us is how well you rise after falling.”

Garcia explained that there are ways to go out and have fun with alcohol without letting it ruin your life.

She provided seven steps for a successful night, which include: 1. Always have a designated driver. 2. Lie and say you are allergic to a type of alcohol when someone offers it to you. 3. Always have a buddy bodyguard. 4. Make your own minute maid. 5. H2O is the refreshing way to go. 6. Fill the tank. Always make sure you have eaten before you try and take on a night of drinking. 7. Hop on the bull. Become a better person, try the sober life, and see if that can be the life for you.

“Be aware of what you upload to the Internet as well as what you are tagged in,” said Garcia. “There are enough drunk photos, stay classy.”



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