In response to Chris Benham’s opinion piece (“Santa Barbara Lifestyle Trumps Any Narcotic” Daily Nexus, May 2), where do you draw the line between sounding like you’re trying to enlighten your fellow peers and calling them out, ridiculing them and sounding like a total jerk?

[media-credit name=”Robyn Reyna” align=”alignleft” width=”111″]sblifestyle[/media-credit]It’s Friday night, and you’re drinking with your buddies and having a great time. Long story short, you have a few more drinks, start talking to an interesting girl you wish you had run into years ago, and you say what the hell and decide to get funky. After taking those Norcos, Xanax, or whatever you feel like, you’re riding the lightning and you take off for an adventure on the beach, running in the sand, playing in the waves. Before you know it, you wake up next to her covered in sand, and, regardless of your phenomenal headache and extreme thirst, you smile because you think you might have met an awesome girl. That “I.V. hood-rat lying next to you” is the greatest thing that has happened to you since sliced bread and Mad Dog. Where is this going?

It’s not going to lead to me boasting about how many sweet adventures I’ve gone on and how much crazy shit I’ve done in my life. It’s not going to tell you what you are doing wrong and what I am doing right. It’s not going to ridicule or belittle anyone at this university for smelling bathroom sinks, finding Lucy in the sky, ordering fungus pizza, or using California’s favorite medication. It’s already been well established that anyone who goes here has “absolutely no self respect,” is “spoiled, vacuous, shallow” and “are just too damn stupid to appreciate what they have.” Well, I am afraid I have to wholeheartedly disagree. Some people live by Carpe Diem — a phrase most easily explained by Snoop Dogg: “we don’t just say no, we’re too busy saying yeah.” I am not suggesting giving in to peer pressure, but sometimes you can go with the flow and have a good time. Sometimes a few ridiculous suggestions get thrown around, and adventures happen. Saying screw it and blowing everything off for a night of impulsive decisions and unpredictable fun can create some of the best memories in life. Sometimes the greatest of times are only made possible by listening to Nike and just doing it. I still live by my middle school principal’s closing to every morning announcement, “Make it a great day or not. The choice is always yours.”

Moreover, I can guarantee that, like you, I’ve done some things in “my life that some would consider a bit crazy.” I can also guarantee you that I wake up everyday and walk to class with a huge smile on my face generated from the weather and the women. I eat breakfast on my oceanside balcony every morning and pat myself on the back for choosing to go to school here. I listen to the waves, hike the mountains, learn from amazing professors, and ­— analogous to my SAT scores — live life to its full potential. I entirely agree that Santa Barbara is as close to heaven as you can get.

I am simply saying that some people share your beliefs and some don’t. The same is true in all aspects of life — religion, politics, race, social status, and economic background. Honestly, I’m not condoning or advocating any use of substances prohibited in the U.S. of A., I’m just saying lets not be so harsh and judgmental. Not everyone experiments with chemicals in order to see how close to death they can get because they have no appreciation for the beauty of California’s coastal outcrop. Some people do so simply because they might find it interesting or fun. Maybe they read Robert Brault’s work and the phrase “The more side roads you stop to explore, the less likely that life will pass you by” stuck out. Whatever the reason, I think there are myriad people here who are well-rounded and clear-minded enough to find a happy and stable balance.