Written by: Jeremy Baumhower
To the Graduating Class of 2015:
It is really simple. Survive. I don’t mean in life, I mean through the month of June and this summer.
Every year, we lose young people during the Graduation season. No matter how many times you hear about the dangers of drinking and driving, kids make the same bad choice.
I can explain it to you in a very understandable way. Remember last year, when you got your driver’s license? You’ve only been driving for a couple of years, meaning you are probably not great at it. Also… Remember the first time you had a beer or drink? That too.. was likely recently. Again, you’re not good at it.
I’ve been drinking for a long time and I am still “not good at it”.
Having a diploma in your hand proves you are an educated person. My advice is based on a a math equation.
Inexperienced Driving plus inexperienced drinking… equals tragedy.
If you add country roads, with no lights and no shoulders to drive on, our rural communities tend to suffer the most.
I am a realist. I know, from experience, there is nothing I nor anyone can say, that will stop you from drinking. If you have your mind set on it, that’s what you will do.
My advice is different. Have a plan in place if you know in advance, you will likely be drinking. Plan on spending the night, at the location of the party. If that is not an option, call your parents or call the parents of your friends. Text someone you have known, perhaps a former coach, a neighbor, an uncle… anyone, sober– to come and get you.
Yes, you will be in trouble with your parents… but you will be ALIVE. Your parents’ hearts will be disappointed but not shattered.
This also applies to your friends. Do not get into a car with your friend, who’s been drinking. Do not let your friend drive, even if they’ve only had a single beer, a drink, or one shot.
One sip and that’s it.
I don’t care how hard they try to convince you– if you love them, this is the time to show it.
Keys can always replicated, do not be afraid to throw them if needed. Your friend will forgive you, I promise.
Alcohol changes the chemistry of your brain, it makes us choose poorly. We do and say things we never intended to. Until you know how your brain will react, you should plan for the worst. Imagine Bruce Banner knowing he is going to become the Hulk. Plot against the worst possible you, in the worst possible situation.
You worked your ass off the last 12 years, your future is boundless.
You’ve made your parents proud, you are about to tackle the world. The path to realizing your dreams, starts tomorrow.
You just need to survive tonight and the nights ahead.
Mark my words– we will lose someone in NW Ohio in the month of June of 2015. It will be a young person, leaving a graduation party and “alcohol will be a factor”.
It happens every year. It’s our annual event, called “stupidity”.
If we know each other, or if I know your parents.. please do not hesitate to call. I mean it.