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Collegiate Recovery Community supports students at Ohio State

When Kory Kubasek walks across Ohio Stadium to receive his diploma in May, he will complete a journey at The Ohio State University he started in 2008, with a gap in the middle. Before he could finish his degree in biology, he had to get sober.

“I was very vivacious in school, I loved doing different things. I was part of Block O and I did different volunteer activities,” Kubasek said. “As I started getting further along in my education, I started losing lust for that stuff. I started developing OCD and depression symptoms and about that time I discovered there was one way to get rid of those symptoms, and that was drinking.”

Eventually Kubasek dropped out of Ohio State, moved back to northeast Ohio and realized it was time to seek treatment.

“When I got sober again, my personality started to come back and I started to have this love again for the things I really, really enjoyed,” he said.

At that point, Kubasek made a decision to return to Columbus and return to Ohio State. But he wouldn’t do it without a support system on campus to help him succeed in recovery – and he found it in the Student Wellness Center’s Collegiate Recovery Community.

The Collegiate Recovery Community, a program in the Office of Student Life, supports Ohio State students in recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction through a supportive peer community and a network of recovery allies.

Kubasek was one of several students to share their stories of recovery at the organization’s annual graduation dinner Wednesday night. The event is a celebration of students in recovery who are graduating this academic year.

Ahmed Hosni, program manager for the Collegiate Recovery Community, spoke at the dinner and drew inspiration from former Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes. Hosni said the students in the recovery community continue to support each other.

“Recovery is a gift,” he said. “When you receive a gift, it’s your responsibility to pay it forward.”

That support system and shared responsibility helps fuel the recovery program.

“Being a student in recovery, it’s hard to connect to other students because I’m 30, and most of my cohort is in their early 20s,” said Tyler Rutledge, a senior majoring in science and mathematics education. “They’re like ‘Oh, let’s go drink,’ or ‘Oh, let’s go to happy hour.’ And I don’t get that with the students in the CRC. I can connect with them on so many different levels.”

Ohio State’s CRC program started in 2013 and offers students weekly support meetings, peer-to-peer support, a student lounge and dedicated student housing.

“There are always going to be temptations along the way because that’s any collegiate campus you go to,” Kubasek said. “But there was somewhere I could go because the Collegiate Recovery Center is open 24-7. We have a good safe place that’s there for you. And we have these resources of people that want to help you. It’s not just for people who are six years into recovery. It’s for people who just want to test the waters or see what it’s all about for them.”

Both Rutledge and Kubasek are planning for life after graduation. Rutledge is interviewing for a position as a high school science teacher. Kubasek, a former Apple employee, is planning for an internship at Apple headquarters to work on biometric statistics with the Apple Watch team.

“The biggest life lesson I’ve taken away is the fact that life in recovery can definitely be even more fun than I could have imagined it to be,” Kubasek said.

For more information on Columbus recovery, recovery support meetings, sober social events, how to get involved with the CRC and Recovery House, contact CRC at 614-292-2094 or via email recovery@osu.edu or visit 095 Baker Hall.

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