Monday, September 13, 2010

What I Believe: Being Staight Edge

What I Believe:
Being Straight Edge
by Savanna Peterson—age 15
Do you know any teenage boy/girl who has been around drugs their whole life, and still chose to take the other direction?  I am going to graduate, go to college, and have a great-paying job. I am also going to go on a lot of trips.
Doing drugs runs in the family, but it stops at me. I hope my little sister will find the right sibling to look up to.
I believe in Jesus Christ, but I’m not a girl who goes to church all the time. I have made a life commitment to be straight edge. A lot of people use straight edge as a trend or to get a boyfriend, but not me. Some kids tell their parents they are straight edge for trust, and then go to raves. My aunt even thinks that I’m straight edge for that reason. I have better things to do than waste my life and money on drugs and alcohol. That’s just not who I am. It’s hard for people to believe that you can be different from the rest. No one thinks I can survive in my family without doing drugs. I’ve been straight edge for two years now.  I know what commitment means and I know how to stick with what I plan to do.
It’s hard to make friends with other straight-edge girls because in two weeks or so, they are selling out. They either find out the guy they wanted doesn’t like them or they are influenced by people on the outside pointing fingers and saying they aren’t going to last a week. They usually do sell out and don’t prove anyone wrong. At first, I had people taunting me, but I’ve proved those people wrong. Once I made the commitment, it wasn’t hard at all. I start my own trends and I didn’t become straight edge for any guy. People who know me personally know that I stick to my words. I stay away from drugs and out of trouble because I’m doing this for me. Going to raves is a trend in my school. I’m showing people that there are other options. 
I am straight edge to stay healthy and try to be as far away from drugs as I can. I’ve been around drugs and I have always been against them.
XXX--The three X’s mean:
  1. Drug-free
  2. Alcohol-free
  3. No promiscuous sex
To others, it’s
  1. Drug-free
  2. Tobacco-free
  3. Alcohol-free
But my group includes tobacco along with drugs.
The straight edge themes are:
  • “Never Say Die”
  • “Fresh Till Death”—because drugs are dirty.

      The X symbol first began when underage band members were allowed to play in bars. They were marked with an X on their hand so the bartender wouldn’t serve them drinks. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s a group of bands and kids were tired of the self-destructive attitude of many bands. They took the X symbol to set themselves apart from members and followers of other punk rock bands. The lyrics written in 1980 by the band Minor Threat proclaimed that youth of today don’t need to:
“Snort white [sh**] up my nose
pass out at the shows
I don’t even think of speed
That’s something I just don’t need
I’ve got the straight edge”

            From this song, the movement became known as straight edge. The belief is that drugs and alcohol weren’t needed and should be rejected. * This website represents a strong opposition to drug and alcohol use while using strong language to portray their message.
When I found out what straight edge was, I thought it was a very good idea. A lot of people think it’s dumb, but they don’t realize how good it is for your life. Many straight edge people are also vegetarian or vegan. Everyone has different thoughts about it. A lot of my old friends have started doing drugs, and that’s why I don’t have them for friends anymore. When I turned straight edge, I stopped hanging out with my friend I had since the 1st grade because she started smoking weed. I don’t even talk to her anymore. My other good friend I had since I was little is in a gang. I pretty much lost all my old friends over my choice to live drug-free, but I gained new friends who have made a commitment, like me. To me, if you turn straight edge, you have to be faithful.
I like to hang out with people older than me. I think most kids my age are too immature.  Yeah,
I know kids who do drugs. When they ask me, “Savanna, how do you have fun without drugs?” Well, here’s my answer. “How did you have fun, before you did drugs? You do not need drugs to have fun! Honestly, I have more fun than most druggies. There are so many fun things you can do in life besides doing XTC or smoking weed every day.”
            The thing that annoys me the most is when kids at school talk about how crazy their night was when they were rolling. Or they look at something and be like, “Whoa, man, that would be so cool on shrooms!” or “Holly s***, we should do some XTC and look at that, it would be so dank!” No! When people talk like that, I get so annoyed; I want to just pull my hair out!  “I’m seriously sorry you don’t know how to talk. It was your choice to lose your brain cells from all those drugs.” Even when they aren’t on drugs, all they talk about is drugs. There are more interesting things in life. I promise you when you quit, it will be the best feeling you will ever have! You will win!
Is straight edge a gang?
To me, straight edge is not a gang, but some people take it too far by slashing tires on beer trucks or waiting around outside a bar to beat people up when they come out. I don’t go around with violent people. Straight edge simply means you have the edge because you are straight. My favorite band is Sleeping Giant. They even sing about the teachings of Jesus Christ in some of their songs. Because of the straight edge bands, kids are learning to be alert and aware. The bands help kids realize that they are much stronger because they don’t deal with their problems by doing drugs. The drug-free message not only comes from school and parents, but it’s coming from a cool band. Even though there are still plenty of kids doing drugs, the music and the straight edge message is helping thousands of kids stay away from drugs and stay clean until death.
            My friends and I like to go to straight edge shows, hang out and listen to straight edge music, talk about stuff, watch movies, and have video game tournaments. Druggies talk about drugs; we talk about other straight edges.
At parties, we play beer pong with orange juice or Kool-Aid. That’s a game where you try to get a ping-pong ball into the mug of the opposite team. When you do, the other team drinks the mug.
A lot of parents think that tattoos or piercings lead to drugs. I fully disagree with that. Friends lead kids to drugs. A lot of my straight edge friends who have tattoos and piercings have never taken a drink or drugs.
Straight edge people are like a family to me and help me keep my commitment to be drug free.

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