Put Away Your Juul

Put Away Your Juul

Not only are they dangerous but they also don't make you cool.
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Juuls. The new cigarette. The new vape. If you are out of college you are probably asking yourself what is a "Juul"? Well, its pretty much an e-cig podlike vape that many college and high school students have. Why exactly? To look cool? To get a high? If you actually understand what this Juul is maybe you will rethink having one.

They are not "not bad" for you.

Juuls were first made to help smokers. They were supposed to be a smoking-cessation aid. Personally, most people I know who have Juuls were not smokers in the first place. So, why do you have one?

Many people say they are better for you than cigarettes. Yes that is true, but they are not healthy for you in any way. In fact, Juul pods deliver nicotine when hit. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug and the nicotine salt found in Juuls is much more addictive than cigarettes so users feel more satisfied. Nicotine unlocks receptors and results in diverse sensations but is very short term, and that is why it is so addictive. In fact, it can be seen just as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Yikes!

The most scary part about the Juul is that scientists and doctors do not yet know the long term affects of the Juul yet. It has only been out for a few years. And, most users are under the age of 21, whose brains aren't even fully developed. Who knows what affect a Juul can have on a fifteen year old brain? (Yes, fifteen year olds have these Juuls).

I think we can agree that in no way are these Juuls good for you. If you are using one to stop smoking cigarettes that is a different story, but if you are a teenager who has never smoked, do not buy a Juul. Please.

They are not cool.

They aren't period. When I ask people why they have Juuls, a common response is "they are cool." Let me respond to that statement, they are not. Boys- Juuling in front of a girl is not cute and girls- juuling in front of a boy is not cute or classy. The last thing I want a boy to do when I am talking to him is blow his smoke in my face. Enough said.

So, if you are thinking about buying one of these Juuls, please rethink your decision. And if you have a Juul, throw it away.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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I Went To Vegas For My 21st Birthday And It Taught Me To Never Take My Eyes Off My Drink

Lessons are meant to be learned but more importantly, shared.
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This isn't easy for me to write or talk about. I feel ashamed, embarrassed, and sort of violated. But what I brought home with me from my 21st birthday celebration in Las Vegas was a lesson. It's a lesson that I feel like I need to put aside my shame and embarrassment for and share with others so they don't make the same mistake I did.

My dad planned the most extravagant 21st birthday celebration for me and my friend in Las Vegas: an exhilarating and energetic city full of shows, gambling, drinking, and partying.

But with the fun of all the drinking and partying comes some dangers and safety concerns.

It was our last day of the trip and we had been walking the Las Vegas Strip all day long, stopping at all the coolest bars for drinks and just taking in the vibrant and breathtaking views of the city. After bar hopping all day long, it was safe to say we were all feeling pretty tipsy. It was getting late so we decided to stop at one last bar before calling it a night.

We walked into the last bar holding our drinks from the previous bar and my dad left for a few minutes to go find a restroom. The bar was flooded with people and we noticed stairs in the back of the room where even more people were standing in line to access an exclusive club on the top floor of the bar.

One of the promoters of the club noticed that we looked interested in the upstairs club and walked over to my friend and me.

He was a young looking guy, probably in his late 20's or so, wearing a suit with a name badge with his promoter name.

Doing what promoters do, he wanted to do all he could to persuade two young college girls to come up to the club. He raved about how the DJ played the best music, how it was a fun young crowd, and how he could get us in for free with free drinks.

Mesmerized by how fun the club sounded, my friend and I decided it would be the perfect way to end the last night of our Vegas trip.

We told the promoter we were in and he started to give us our wristbands for the club, then stopped. There was one problem. Our drinks from the previous bar.

He told us that we couldn't bring up any drinks that had a different bar's name on it and that it had to be a drink from that specific bar. Because my friend and I both had full drinks in our hands, he told us that instead of making us pour them out, he would just switch our drinks into one of the bars cups.

Being that we had been tipsy all day and just having fun and being careless, we let the guy just switch our old drinks to a new cup from that bar.

Before agreeing to go up to the club, my dad returned and I asked if he would want to join us too (my dad is cool and clubs with me). When I asked if he was up for going, he said he was pretty much done for the night and wanted to just go to bed because of our early flight back to Raleigh in the morning.

Realizing how late it was and how early we had to be up, my friend and I decided that it probably was best to just call it a night and head back to the hotel room.

We told the promoter we decided against going up to the club. He tried for a while to convince us otherwise but we stuck to our plan, finished the rest of our drinks, and headed up to the room to get some sleep before our early flight.

The next morning was like nothing I have ever experienced.

If anyone knows me, I'm a morning person. Especially if I have something important to do (a flight to catch, in this case), I wake up no matter how tired or hungover I am.

I remember my dad having to come into our part of the hotel suite multiple times and shake us awake. When he finally shook me awake, I remember feeling in a complete haze. It felt different than any hangover I had ever experienced.

I remember thinking, how am I this hungover? I've drunk more than I did last night and have never felt this hungover...

But I figured it was just the long weekend of celebrating finally catching up to my body, so I got out of bed and started to pack up to leave.

When my friend finally woke up from her coincidental deep slumber too, she told me that she felt like she was in a complete haze. I told her I was feeling the same and we both just shrugged it off, laughing at our miserable "hangover".

When the Uber had arrived to take us to the airport, I remember both my friend and I barely even having the energy to roll our suitcases down the hallway of the hotel. We kept saying to each other this was a hangover that we had never experienced before and that we both still felt pretty intoxicated.

When we expressed to my dad how awful we were both feeling, he told us that it was probably just Vegas catching up to us and that we would feel much better once we got some food and water into our systems.

While we waited for our flight to board, we stopped at a breakfast place in the airport. My friend and I sat at the table, barely being able to make conversation with my dad or each other.

We both sat there, slouched over, barely being able to open our eyes. My hands and body were trembling, and I could barely sip the water that the waitress had brought over to me. I felt like if I stood up, I would instantly collapse.

It's just a hangover, a really bad hangover...I kept thinking, trying to convince myself that I'd feel better soon.

Until my friend looked over at me and said, "something isn't right".

And that's when I knew.

I knew that if she was feeling as off as I was feeling, something must have happened. This was more than just a hangover.

Hearing and seeing the way my friend and I were feeling, my dad started to get worried. He asked if we remembered taking any sort of drug while we were away from him at the bar and we obviously hadn't...

Not knowingly at least.

He reminded us of the one promoter that we talked to for a while at the last bar we had went to. But since he seemed like a nice guy and worked at the bar, we didn't think anything suspicious of him.

Since I was drunk and the night had been a little blurry, I could barely make out the guy's face in my head but I remembered I had taken some pictures on my phone from the night.

I pulled out my phone and start looking through my camera roll and I found a video I had taken of the promoter, my friend, and I.

"Oh yeah, this guy!" I said as I watched the memories from the night before. My dad was looking over my shoulder when all of the sudden he blurts out "OH MY GOD" and snatches the phone out of my hand.

My friend and I are so confused as to what my dad was freaking out about and he is replaying the video over and over again.

Without even knowing it, I had accidentally gotten video proof of the promoter slipping a roofie pill into the cups that he had transferred our drinks into.

Once we put all the pieces together, it all started to make sense.

The promoter roofied our drinks before trying to send us up to the club. But because we drank it and just went to sleep after, we were just now feeling the effects of the drug.

I felt anger and disgust at the promoter, but also towards myself. I never thought something like this could happen to me, I thought I was smarter than that.

Although there are roofie stories that have unfortunately turned out far worse than mine did, I wanted to share my story to prevent something worse from happening to someone else who could make the same mistake I did.

My lesson learned: never take your eyes off your drink and never give your drink up to a stranger.

I know this is something that is constantly drilled into the minds of young adults, especially girls, but I was fooled. This guy had the opportunity to drop a drug in my drink in the five minutes that my dad wasn't by my side. And he was successful with it.

Again, I am embarrassed and ashamed of what happened that last night of my trip. But more importantly, I am smarter than I was before.

Even if my story only saves one person from making the same mistake I did, it served its purpose.

Cover Image Credit: Nicolette Giambalvo

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