Learning lessons and spreading the message

It’s Saturday night, and you’re looking for someone to go on a booze run. No luck? What if your friends tell you they’re going on one where there is free booze for everyone? If it sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. Theft of alcohol is a serious offense and is not something to be taken lightly.

It might seem as if it’s not a big deal, but you’re laying all your cards out on the table when you try to steal. People get away with it every day, but for people who aren’t so lucky, their world can come tumbling down.

I was one of those people. At the age of 19, I got caught in the act of stealing alcohol from Walmart.

Not only is theft highly illegal, so is handling any booze under the age of 21. Since the day I was arrested for third degree theft and minor in possession, I had to go to court to receive my sentence, spent a day in jail, and am currently on probation.

This is a situation, I never in a million years pictured myself in. The worst part of it all is I had never tried something like this before. I had heard from plenty of people that nearly all the booze they had was stolen. A combination of wanting to save a few bucks and being egged on by a few friends led me to the decision to give it a shot.

What was I thinking? Clearly not about anything important, just about what I was going to drink that night and how much fun I would have with my friends. Now, not a day goes by where I don’t think about it.

What I would give to go back and stop myself from ever trying, even thinking, about stealing alcohol. I never thought about the consequences. I blindly made the assumption that if anything came out of it, it would simply be a little slap on the wrist.

I was most certainly wrong. I’ve had to go through a lot since then, and my life is a lot different than it was before.

In total, I lost about $1,500, spent 24 hours in jail, and am on probation with drug tests. To think this was all for the five finger discount on a few fifths? The harsh reality is it’s a lot more serious than it might strike you. If I had heard of some of these consequences before I acted, there is not a chance I would ever risk it.

All I’m encouraging you to do is think before you make any rash decisions. This was my first time trying to steal something, and if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone.

It was a choice I made without giving it any real hard thought or consideration. Life has taught me a handful of valuable lessons from this experience.

For starters, think before you act. Be reasonable and rational. If someone had told me to seriously comprehend the consequences I was risking and the possible outcomes of the actions I was going to commit that night, I would have realized it wasn’t worth jeopardizing my future. It was a terrible, dumb idea in the first place.  

Your morals shouldn’t be affected by those around you, you have to trust and listen to yourself to make good decisions.

My biggest wish is for people to read this and learn that not every decision made should be made with a careless attitude. Although you may feel invincible at times things do go wrong, and at the end of the day it is you who pays for the mistakes.

– The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications