The “college experience” is associated with heavy drinking, experimenting with drug use, smoking and/or vaping, etc. There is one thing that separates me from most of my peers: I consider myself to be a part of the straight edge community.
Straight edge is a community of people who abstain from recreational drug and alcohol use. The term originated as a subculture of the punk scene, but it can also be applied to anyone who refrains from drug use for life.
One of the main reasons I value a straight edge lifestyle is because being in control of myself is something that is very important to me. In fact, staying sober 24/7 is effortless for me.
I get high on other things—listening to really good music, writing amazing things, and, ultimately, just living life itself and doing the things I love the most.
A bunch of people I talk to who do partake in recreational drug and alcohol use ask me about being straight edge, but ultimately respect it as a lifestyle choice. Some people are amazed, some are in disbelief, and some suggest that I “just try it.” I have just never had the desire to pick up a drink or partake in recreational drug use like many of my peers.
However, anyone who chooses this type of lifestyle might feel alone in their values, especially among a community of college students who tend to be quite the opposite of straight edge.
It’s nice to find people in college who are compatible with your values, when considering both friends and romantic partners. I do have a group of close friends who are also substance-free, and it is refreshing to be surrounded by people who share the values that are really important to me. When meeting people in college, you gravitate towards those who are like you.
I have never felt any peer pressure to start doing drugs or drinking alcohol. I have always been happy doing my own thing and it is something I take pride in. It is a commitment that I have made to myself, one that I will forever keep.
With being straight edge, I have a strong sense of self. I do not conform to other people’s expectations of me. That, in my book, is super important since young adults tend to get pressured into harmful situations.
Being straight edge is one of the many things that distinguishes me from my college peers and holding onto something that unique is a beautiful thing. It is okay to be your own person and not feel the need to conform to what others are doing.
Going through college sober helps me better navigate the demands and stress of schoolwork. By staying sober, I will be productive, have a clear mind, stay true to myself, lead a healthy lifestyle, and always be in touch with reality. I will be the designated driver for life, but I am more than okay with that.
You have heard the saying, “You don’t need to drink to have fun,” and essentially, that is the quote I live by.
PHOTO TAKEN from Straight Edge SXE