TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - In the past few weeks, thousands of students have started school at area colleges and universities.
For most, it's an unknown atmosphere filled with big decisions; many made outside the classroom.
"Think about every movie that's out there," said Maria Falzone, a safe-sex lecturer, "every college comedy, they're all getting drunk and they're all having sex."
Before even arriving on campus, the expectations are there; from the media, from siblings, and from friends.
It's something freshman Michael Kruer says he's heard. However, he's also heard something else.
"No matter what you do you're not going to drive a vehicle, you're not going to leave even if you do end up drinking like that because they want you do stay as safe as possible if you are of age, and just be careful where you go around town," said Kruer.
That's the message Kruer received from Indiana State University.
"Our new students all complete an online alcohol, drug, and sexual violence education program before they arrive on campus," said Aimee Janssen-Robinson. Janssen-Robinson is the Associate Director for Wellness at ISU.
With hundreds of teenagers coming into a new atmosphere, ISU preaches safety from the get-go, even bringing in lecturers to speak with students.
"There's this unbelievable freedom that they have and this idea of how they're supposed to behave," said Falzone. "You know, they think they're supposed to."
On top of everything, Falzone stresses having a good support system. She suggests a group made up of friends who will provide one-on-one protection and parents who will talk with their kids and prepare them for what they might come across.
"What they'll do is have one person not drinking looking after four people," said Falzone. "It's physically impossible to do that. People get drunk, they split up."
"The parents try to share their past experiences so you can learn from what they did without even having the consequences," said Kruer.
It's all in an effort to make those new experiences, good memories.
News 10 also spoke with Indiana State Police Excise Police. They say officers are out in full force at the beginning of the year and at big events.
An investigation is underway into an early morning crash.
Toys are getting ready for distributing for the annual Toys for Tots toy drive.
The same Illinois state’s attorney who’s charging the biological mother of murder victim Willow Long is cautioning those in the court of public opinion not to be too quick to put blood on the young mother’s hands.
The holiday season is a time for family but what about kids who don't have one? Tonight the Department of Child Services says it’s in a state of emergency, and is in need of foster parents across the Wabash Valley.
We have new details in a case that dates back to last year. A Terre Haute man pleaded guilty to voluntary man slaughter Tuesday.