Captain Straight Edge and the #TurnUp of Doom

The 20s are all about staying true to yourself. College can often be one of the most challenging places to do so however. The pressures to change yourself, to fit in, and to experiment with new things can sometimes be overwhelming. Everyone wants you to let go, to be free, and wild for the night but who everyone else is is not necessarily who you want to be. To each his own they say, and there is more than one way to have fun. Everyone has a different definition of a good time. Don't knock it until you try it, but you don't have to try everything to know what's wrong for you. This is the true story Captain Straight Edge and the #Turnup of Doom (*cues the crashing thunder and flash of ominous lightning).
 
Every single day you wake up and load up on everything you need to prepare yourself for the day. You wipe the nasty ass eye-crusties from the corners of your eyes, brush those pearly whites to near blinding perfection (floss to spite your antagonistic dentist so your gums don't bleed next check-up), and hop in the shower to sud up (90s throwback music are my go-to bathroom beltables). You'd best double apply that deo for the B.O. (those overactive sweat glands slay me), lotion like your ashy self depends on it (cause you do), and do a light (emphasis on the light) spritz of your signature scent (apparently sleeping next to an air freshener makes me smell like Glad Apples & Cinnamon oils regularly). Into your armory to dress in your quintessential casual superhero uniform (button down, cardigan and khaki pants for ya boy) and you leave to go save or destroy the world. And so begins the recounting of a crime-fighting, ass-kicking, justice-serving weekend. There are days where I completely feel like I'm tasked with being more than just a person but something short of a superhero. Thursday was definitely was one of those days. From waking up at the butt crack of dawn after another night of minimal sleep to 4 classes, office hours, a meeting, roundtable discussion, watching a debate and turning on "it" to be authentically present for my RHA's big bingo night. I was purposed with interacting with every individual guest there and while I enjoyed it by that time of the day I was already exhausted. Couple of hours and a few shouts of bingo later, clean up was happening and it was downstairs for a late meal with the power squad of hard working people. Somewhere David, Mac and I ended up with the job of getting things back to the RHA office and honestly it was comical. Walked through the tunnel and onto one part of campus only for Mac to remember he had parked on the complete other side. David's holding his drink and strawing his face, it's cold as heck, and we're struggling like never before. I'll give it the guy, sure knows how to tell a story. (let's just say ratchet shower laundry and heater drying tactics have been implemented on multiple occasions). Back to the office where 2 hours goes by about the most random of things. I turn in for the night and captain straight edge, has deactivated his super powers.

Another day another struggle it seems. Friday was spent in bed making a poster and trying to recover in life but to no avail. Off to class I went and soon was back in my room to try to take a nap. No such look because as soon I started to rest my eyes it was time to help run my RHA's blacklight volleyball event. It was a grand ole time and definitely a breath of fresh air, especially for people to see another in different context. There were snacks, giveaways, music and some real tough competition in there. My team of "You Got #Served" (BTW, you never pronounce a hashtag) consisted of Sam, Connor , Mac and Sam's roommate, Ryan. We did pretty good for never having played together and while we were knocked out of the tournament, it was the positive, encouraging attitude we all brought that made it memorable. I knocked out some homework, ordered wings, and ribs and then passed out like K.O. style (thanks for all the invites ... eating alone in my room is my idea of a wild Friday night). Saturday morning was a trip to struggle city as I worked some more before heading to meet up with my friend, Dae-Dae, to fry chicken wings for a good 4.5 hours for an event that night. It was a hilariously good time playing old school jams and singing as loud as possible. I mean my clothes were swamped with the smell of oil and fried poultry but I made it back to my residence hall to get all gussied up and head to "Comida Para La Gente." I was joined by David, Mac, Dylan, Natalia, and Mary for a wonderful evening of culture, food, mind-blowing performances and deeply moving poetry. The dance floor opened up at the end of the night and you know my basic booty was out there getting it. "The Wobble" comes on and everyone knows to clear the floor of the high knees to make their appearance. You would think the night ended there but you know ain't no party like an after party. Keep reading for more of the story of captain straight edge and the #turnup of doom.

It was back to my residence hall to change out of my formal attire but I was interrupted from a surprise visit from Sam and Ryan who had apparently just vivisted their future room. Somehow we got to talking and eventually the rest of the crew showed up, David, Mac, Natalia and Dylan. I went to change into party clothing (like Jersey Shore style) and gave my pep-talk/admonition before we headed to a live spot close by. At a predominantly POC party, I knocked on the door and walked in five uninvited guests but everyone was good at making an effort to not clump and to meet new people. We had finaly arrived at the #TurnUp of Doom. Everyone was shocked to see me as aka Captain Straight Edge even at the party. I mean people where getting sick-nasty schwasted (way slower than other populations #shade but still a mess nonetheless). Others were smoking hookah, dirty dancing like music video professionals, and kissing on one another. I was just getting my perpetually sober dance on. I hung out with some of my unofficial favorite people, Maché, Dae-Dae, Ruth, and my bae, Courtney. I did a nice three-step with my girl, Isora, which was one of the highlights of the night. So many people knew where just doing their thing and it was great to be there. I checked on my friends and they seemed to be doing really well. People asked me to take shots, down a beer, and puff some hookah but I declined and people just respected it, for once. Some random people who I've never spoken to had full on conversations with me and even Mac finally thanked me (albeit inebriated - that legal #swag tho) for being a near perfect friend. I'll take it but still looking for that quality time. I looked around and everyone was just having a good time. Captain straight edge wasn't so out of place after all. You know all good things end way too soon, nonsense ensued, melodrama took place, and it was time to rally the troops and depart before people got any more rowdy. Back to my room where I my superhero powers included ordering pizza at 3am, cleaning up messes (found pizza crusts in my bed in the morning), and talking to a police officer about a car alarm (#mylife). Everybody made it home safe and I ended up doing the most and sleeping on the ground while the random one crashed on my bed. Captain straight edge survived a night out!
 
This past weekend was a wild one to say the least. I learned that I can go out and enjoy the whole college party scene and still not compromise my beliefs and who I am. It's okay not to drink, and you don't have to justify your choices to anyone else. I'm drug free, alcohol free and sex free and I've gone my entire life without any of them, so it can be done. The thing is, people choose for themselves how much they want to turn up or turn down. Neither option is inherently "good" or "bad" - just wrong or right for you. Drink responsibly (curb the binge drinking people, 4 or 5 drinks in an hour period), don't drink and drive, know your limits and make sure you keep track of how many you've had. Your life is way more important than having fun. Also can we stop glorifying blacking out because it's NOT COOL at all. Not remembering things is truly problematic and not a good look at all. If you're drinking to the point where you're unconscious, I'm telling you you're doing it wrong. The purpose of alcohol is not always to get you drunk, I hear a buzz goes a long way in loosening up your inhibitions and livening up those social skills. Take it from me, I get to be totally awkward at parties all on my own and still manage to strike up conversations. Drink in moderation and take care of yourself but your friends and those around you as well. Captain Straight Edge says turn down for never.

My blog post question for the day is ... what's your idea of a perfect good time? I would love to cook a meal, watch a movie or play a board game with two or three friends. Quiet, intimate conversation and a genuinely good, clean, fun time.

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