Drinking in high school isn’t cool, it’s just typical
It is quite a fact that people will change when they get to high school. Kids come into freshman year with their views, their goals, their morals, their personalities and their friends blindly thinking they're secure and they won't do anything to jeopardize all those good things about them. It's frightening to think that by the end of senior year, they're more than likely not to think the same way about anything.
I've seen friends grow and change into completely different people. Some change for the better, and some change for the worse. The purity of pre-freshman year is now hopelessly forgotten like last season's "American Idol" winner. It's surprising how many of my friends now drink. It's surprising how many of my friends have had sex. It's surprising how many of my friends have tried drugs. It kills me to know that my once-close friends have succumbed to the lifestyle of the typical conformist teenager, and drinking seems to be the premiere way they've chosen to change.
One of my friends was constantly talking about how to be a better person, and how he hates what drinking does to people and the things it influences them to do. I thought he'd stick to those expressions. Unfortunately, his current way to live his life has all to do with "socially" drinking and he doesn't seem to care that he is technically being the very hypocrite he so strongly refused to become prior. What scares me most is that he made it clean all the way to senior prom night. That could quite possibly mean the few people who haven't yet succumbed to drinking and such could be turned on a night as ridiculously notorious as prom.
Imagine what it would be like if your elementary school self saw the way you are now. Would you be proud of whom you've become? Think back and picture yourself stepping out of the cafeteria where you just took the D.A.R.E pledge where they made you promise not to drink or do drugs for what seems like the millionth time. It all seemed so irksome and pointless, as we knew we'd never do anything of the sort. Now look where you are. Look around you to the people you once knew. All those people you once knew are gone and it all happened too quickly.
So, recently, I've lost yet another good friend to the "I'm so cool I drink and I'm in high school" lifestyle. However, this friend is different from all the others who have fallen to this way of thinking. We used to go to church together once upon a time. Up until a month or two ago, she was a straight-edge, "why do people need to poison themselves to have fun, I have no respect for teen drinkers, I don't even understand teenagers who do those things" type of person. Well, she sure understands them now.
What deepens my worry for her is that I've talked to her and told her how much it disappointed me, her supposed "really good friend." She simply stated that she knows it's wrong and she's trying to go back to the way she was. I honestly believed she would try rather than to post pictures and talk openly about it through the infamous MySpace. Part of me wants to learn to accept it and spend time with her anyway because that's just what good friends do. They stick with each other throughout the good and bad stages of life they go through. But it's such a shame she would rather hang out with the friends whom she can drink with rather than her friends who choose to stick to what they believe.
It might be cliché to say, but don't ever lose sight of who you really are. I've learned that change is inevitable, but don't fall prey to becoming the conformist, downward-spiral high school kid everyone expects a teenager to become. Instead, become someone your parents can be proud of.
Joy Furushima is a senior at Moanalua High School.
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