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A Shot of Reality

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A Shot of Reality

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If I were to take a survey on what the majority of high school students describe as a “fun night,” I guarantee the results would include dressing in skimpy outfits while puffing on a slick Juul and being the fastest shotgunner at the party.

I could write to you about what is  REALLY in that USB you take hits from to get social media clout or about the numerous horror stories and hazards of getting too wasted to remember the previous night. But what would that do?

No one changes his or her behavior because of some facts.

The teens participating in this behavior believe they are indestructible. So, if I said that Juuls had human urine in them I’m pretty sure the majority of users would carry on inhaling. If I said consuming alcohol under the age of 21 gives you a 30% higher chance of getting liver cancer, most would continue chugging. But…why? If I said all these horrific things about these substances, why would teens still be consuming them?

What is wrong with our society today that the only way teens feel they can have fun is if they are intoxicated?

Do the adults in our world make it look like drinking is powerful and cool?

Teens today are shown from birth that drinking is a “cool adult” thing so they idolize this behavior, eventually mimicking it when they want to be a “cool adult” during their awkward teen years.

Are celebrities at fault?

All over movies and social media celebrities romanticize the use of alcohol and substances. Cole Sprouse, a popular celebrity, is seen smoking cigarettes all throughout his social media. Does behavior like this from A-List celebrities open the floodgates for similar destructive behavior from their followers?

Is it industry’s fault?

From alcohol companies to the JUUL company, these industries have pretty bottles and decorative cases, all alluring to teens. JUUL creates ads that show hip young people dancing while smoking JUUL, using fake dance floor cardio to hide the reality of the “Juul lung” phenomenon the New York Times reported in 2018 as negatively affecting the performance of frequent Juulers who are high school and college athletes. These companies reel in their younger customers without a care for their future health.

Is it a confidence issue?

Do teens feel that they are so low in society that they have to down bottle after bottle to be seen as “cool” or be seen at all?

I’ve heard countless times “I’m more fun when I drink” or “People like me more when I’m high.”

Why do you want to be around people who don’t like you for your 100% authentic self?

Why do you let other people dictate what toxins enter your body just so THEY can have a more pleasurable experience. What about your fun? How do you have fun? Because those excuses about being the life of the party isn’t your own fun but you providing entertainment for everyone else.

Even though every one of these people have a part in the self-destructive teen behavior of today, it all comes down to one person: the individual teen.

It is your decision to pick up that cup.

It is your decision to pick up that JUUL.

It is your decision to make a change.

For anyone who thinks that this is an anti-fun essay, this is the opposite.

I enjoy music, hanging out with friends, and having a fun night. But what I don’t consider fun is not being able to function or remember what you did the previous night or inhale some chemicals for attention and social media clout.

But then again fun is just how one obtains happiness, so isn’t it different for everyone?

But if its different for everyone then why are SO MANY teens behaving this way?

Do they all think the EXACT same thoughts? Or throughout every high school hallway are people trying to drown out their inner voices to fit with the in-crowd? Which sounds more likely?

Live your OWN life. Make your OWN decisions. Don’t destroy your body to gain popularity from people that only talk to you when your Blood Alcohol Content is five times the legal level.

If the teen destructive party culture is going to change, the change has to start among us. Teens need to come together and beat the stereotypes.

Put down the red solo cups.

Put down the JUULs.

Pick up your dignity.

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A Shot of Reality