Did you have to read the headline twice? I promise Im not trying to trick you into reading this sXe is the abbreviation for straight edge, which is symbolized by an X. Straight edge is a lifestyle dedicated to the idea that people should have strength, honor, self-respect and full control of their actions. Sounds good, right?
Thats why Im a straight-edger.
Originating from the 80s punkrock and hardcore music scenes, the straight edge philosophy comes with a strict lifestyle. While the rules are mostly up to personal interpretation, the key to living a true straight edge lifestyle is abstinence: from alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. You heard me right Im a college student who has never tasted a drop of alcohol.
But wait, theres more! Straight-edgers, including myself, also refrain from caffeine (gasp), most prescription drugs and casual sex. Additionally, the majority of straight-edgers are also vegan or vegetarian, but I choose not to be.
Freedom from societal pressures is the core principle of the straight edge community; freedom to express your individuality and to do what you want with your life. That being said, being straight edge can manifest in many different ways. For me, its a mentality and lifestyle, and you probably wouldnt guess it just from looking at me.
So why did I choose to become straight edge? Glad you asked.
Honestly, Ive been living my whole life like this, but hadnt found a way to describe it. Then, one day about a year ago, I was internet-stalking one of my favorite bands, Rise Against, and came across an article that said theyre a straight edge band. I was like, What the heck is that? So of course I had to look it up. After doing my research, I concluded that I had found my people.
Actually, there are several people you may be familiar with who are straight edge, including WWE wrestler CM Punk, Jeremy McKinnon of A Day to Remember, Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy and Steve Aoki. But even though I now have a word for my lifestyle, and there are plenty of others who follow it, it doesnt make it easier to explain to people.
You may be surprised how many people feel like Im challenging them, even though it doesnt affect them. For example, my boss at my internship wanted to take me out for drinks upon hearing more about my choices. Even though I sometimes have to resist an eye roll, Im not bothered when people try to pressure me or question my choices. I dont feel like Im missing out since this is the lifestyle Ive chosen.
Making decisions is a huge part of college which is both exciting and daunting. But were lucky that Bradley provides us with a great environment where we can grow, find ourselves and express our individuality. For myself, the past couple years at Bradley have helped me discover new friends, groups and ideas.
Ultimately, even if the straight edge lifestyle isnt for you, there are several philosophies or lifestyles you can explore, learn about and adopt. You have the resources, so I challenge you to go out and try something new.