A social norm or something more?


Samantha Anderson '15, Contributing Writer

Alcohol is inevitable in college; after all isn’t it a college norm? Do you need a drink to get through your day or feel compelled to binge drink every weekend? Only you can decide how often is too often even for a college norm. On April 15, speaker Jackie Colello came to Le Moyne to talk about just that.

As a former college student, she thought her binge drinking and partying through school was just a college norm until it completely wore her out. She explained that after failing her first semester of college she needed a “break”. This is a situation that hits home for many students here at Le Moyne. Many students who feel like they need to go home for a break because they go out too often, whether with friends to the Pub on campus, a bar downtown or the lacrosse house, may need more than just a break from school. Colello realized that she didn’t just like to drink often; she had a problem. She sought help but wasn’t fully committed to quitting just yet.

After a major move from central New York to Florida where she knew no one, she thought a fresh start would be in order. After being sober for over a year, she fell hard into old habits, but this time with new friends. Between working, attending classes and having a social life she thought she had it all in check. That was until she totaled her fourth car; at which point her family knew she needed a serious intervention. Colello then made another move to California to a treatment center that humbled her and started her on a good path. In this treatment center, she not only surrendered her addiction but found her passion for art. She began painting and creating a new life for herself.

Now that Colello is back in central New York she is using her painting to help others. In addition to starting her own business, Colello Creations, she has recently painted a mural in a church in Baldwinsville. She continues to set new goals for herself and her creations. She is spreading her message that good things can come from terrible situations through her public speaking and art work. When speaking for the first time at Le Moyne during National Alcohol Awareness month, she conveyed a strong positive message to her audience: “For those of you who have been there, are there right now, or know someone who is in a similar spot, there is light at the end of the tunnel.” Ending on a note as strong as her story, she left one lucky attendee with a message they will never forget: a Colello Creation.