This post was written by a Cal State University Channel Islands student in April 2015.
Two weeks ago my eighteen year old friend died in a car crash. He was driving on Tierra Rejada in Moorpark, lost control of his car and hit a tree. I had known this person since first grade and had gone to school with him throughout my years. We were never hugely close but we still said hi when we passed by each other, we had similar friends, and shared certain teachers throughout our schooling. He was that guy that everyone knew of and loved, fun to be around and just a good guy all together.
But this person had a challenging past. Although surrounded by great influences and great friends, he became a drug dealer early in high school. He then started hanging out with people who did drugs as their hobby, and slowly developed into that type of life. Now, my friend was always very smart. He got good grades, was very artistic, and was genuinely a good person. He loved life and had, in his mind, simply found another way to explore the world. But he quickly started with the recreational marijuana and experimented with harder drugs once they were presented to him. He saw these different substances as an escape to a better place, not only as a break from realty but also as a ticket to freedom, to peace of mind. I do not know the exact amounts of substances he had tried nor how many times he did them, but I do know that he had tried most of the “typical drugs” at least once.
In senior year he realized that he needed to clean his act up. He got completely sober from everything, even cigarettes, and started the positive changing of his life. He started hanging out with the friends he had left early in high school and left the drug life completely. He then started attending Moorpark College as a Music major, which is where his life ended.
It is always sad when someone passes on, especially when they are this young. But I am thankful that he was able to become sober like he had wanted, and ended his life on a positive note. It is sad that his life came to an end while he was prospering in life, but I know that if it had ended while he was still struggling it would have been harder on the whole community, especially his family and closest friends.