November 20, 2019 || Vol. 92, No. 10 - page 5

November 20, 2019
Opinion
The Outlook 5
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
MELISSA BADAMO
FEATURES EDITOR
It’s that time of year again.
You know, the one filled with
a cacophony of sniffling and
coughing. The weather begins
to drop (just to be warm again
the next day) and you begin to
feel unwell. The “Monmouth
Plague” has struck again.
I am the “Monmouth
Plague’s” #1 fan, I get sick
constantly. This semester
alone I have already been sick
four times. I have the worst
allergies, the changing of the
seasons and the temperature
fluctuations wreak havoc on
my body.
I frequently get really stuffy
and have severe throat and ear
pain. This is what the health
center loves to call a cold (af-
ter testing me for strep for the
10th time even though I had
my tonsils removed 11 years
ago). Sadly, the common cold
cannot be treated simply with
a round of antibiotics, the body
just has to fight it on its own.
So, the best way to combat a
cold is to prevent it before it
happens.
Every time I get sick I make
it my mission to find the best
ways to prevent getting sick
again. I have found that to de-
ter myself from getting sick
I must get enough rest each
night, take a form of allergy
medications daily, reduce
stress, and have a healthy life-
style.
I recently got sick this week
after staying up too late over
the weekend. Your body needs
a good night’s rest in order for
your immune system to work
properly. So, turn off the
Net-
flix
, put down that phone and
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
Straight Edge in College
“Monmouth Plague”
get some rest; preferably nine
hours or more.
The weekend, for us col-
lege students, is a time to re-
lax and catch up on those Z’s.
Your body will thank you
and you will in return do bet-
ter in classes and feel better
throughout the day.
This contributor to sickness
is no stranger to college stu-
dents. Stress, the true plague
to the student body. The piles
of homework, papers, and
exams overwhelms students
and causes massive amounts
of stress (a college student’s
“best friend”).
Frantically finishing as-
signments or cramming for
exams not only causes mas-
sive amounts of stress but also
leads to staying up late or even
all night to catch up. Stress is
nonstop in the world of college
but the best way to alleviate
its toll on the body is to stay
organized to prevent those all-
nighters.
A healthy lifestyle leads
to a healthy mind and body.
Healthy does not mean hav-
ing the perfect physique but
means feeling physically well.
A healthy lifestyle includes
eating a well-balanced diet and
staying active. I know, work-
ing out and eating well sounds
impossible but it is not. Fitting
in a few workouts a week and
adding more fruits and veg-
etables to each meal are easy
ways to begin the journey of
living a healthy life.
Do not let the “Monmouth
Plague” get you down. Get
more sleep, reduce your stress,
and try to practice a healthy
lifestyle. I wish you luck with
combating the germs this win-
ter.
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
The letter “X” has
become a symbol for the straight edge community,
comprised of people who refrain from drug and alcohol use.
LAUREN SALOIS
OPINION EDITOR
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