Tim’s Thoughts: I Am Above The Influence

If you were awesome enough to read the story I wrote in the last issue of “The Epic” about straight edge students at school, then I want to give you a round of applause. Why? 1) Because it’s nice to know that people enjoy reading journalistic publications as much as I do and 2) Because after writing that story, I made the decision to become straight edge myself.

Now before you become so confused that you want to skip the rest of this column because you didn’t read my straight edge story and don’t know what “straight edge” means, I’ll tell you. It consists of three major factors:

1) Not drinking alcohol
2) Not doing illegal drugs
3) Not smoking tobacco products

When I made the commitment to become straight edge, I was telling myself that I wouldn’t do these things EVER. This means I am not even going to take a sip of beer in my lifetime. I’m not trying to sound cool. I’m not trying to sound important. I’m just making my own decisions and being who I want to be.

Through being straight edge, I want to let everyone know that you don’t have to do things you don’t feel right doing. That is, if you don’t feel right drinking or smoking, you don’t have to. You just have to be able to make decisions that you will benefit from. I find that I don’t benefit from any of the things that come with alcohol, drugs, or tobacco, therefore I will never use any of them. To me, these things make me a person that I’m not and when under the influence, harm my memory and change my personality.

Some of my biggest role models, many of which impacted my overall life choice, are straight edge, such as A Day To Remember vocalist Jeremy McKinnon, The Wonder Years vocalist Dan “Soupy” Campbell and New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert. Not only do these guys sing about not fitting in with society, but they also understand how a focused mind and a dedicated heart can take you places that some don’t even deem imaginable. Through them I’ve realized that alcohol, drugs and tobacco would only push me away from these things.

Instead of finding comfort in substance, I’ve become substance-less. I’ve become focused on my future and have begun making strides to make a difference in the world without needing things like alcohol and drugs to take me away from reality. Though it may mean no beer pong next year in college, I’m still prouder and prouder everyday to call myself straight edge.