I've been straightedge for three years now. I've lived by its standards all my life, but only learned about the scene a few years ago. Choosing to commit to it is one of the best decisions I've made.
As of late, I've realized just how many misconceptions people seem to have about the edge lifestyle. For one, I have known a number of people who claimed edge until their twentyfirst birthday, when they would immediately go out and celebrate in the traditional way-getting drunk. This, from a straightedge viewpoint, is nonsense. One of the important things about it is that you are not straightedge for a month, or a year, or ten years. You're straightedge for life. If you aren't now, you never were.
That isn't to say that if you used to drink you can't become straightedge. The idea is that once you ARE, however, you don't go back and forth. Commiting to straightedge is a lifelong thing. It's a serious idea.
I have a large 'sXe' emblazoned on my school bag. Every day since school has started, I've had at least one person ask me about it. Most of them want to know why my bag says 'sexy'. But I've heard some far more interesting comments. One person asked if it's true that we can't grow facial hair. Another wanted to know if it sucked, not being able to watch porn. A third actaully asked me if it was a cult.
I want to take this opportunity to clear it all up. Straightedge is about avoiding poisoning your body. How you interpret that is up to you. Many edgers are vegetarian/vegan. Some, myself included, avoid all possible sources of caffeine. Some won't take over the counter medication. But the one thing we agree on is the three big X's: drinking, smoking, fucking. None of that for me, thanks.