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Friends’ positivity breaks rave stigma

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(COURTESY/LEXI HARRISON)

(COURTESY/LEXI HARRISON)

(COURTESY/LEXI HARRISON)

TARAH JOHNSON

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Flashing lights overtake the venue. Heartbeats match to the thrumming beat of EDM music blasting through every orifice. For Roseville High School seniors Olivia Munns and Lexi Harrison, this out of body experience is none other than a rave. A large dance party featuring performances by DJs and occasionally live performers playing electronic music, particularly electronic dance music, raves embody the group of RHS girls in a way no other experience can.

With the unmistakable feeling of bliss and relaxation that is summer vacation, this was also the primetime season for unforgettable raves and even more memorable friends. A more experienced raver, Munns attended her first one in the heat of summer 2016 and hasn’t been able to quench the need to return back since.

“To me, raves just mean love. It’s just an endless environment of love and there’s no judgement. You go in there and there’s so many different ethnicities, genders and expressions of self, “ Munns said. “You meet a new part of yourself every time that you go.”

To Munns, these parties encompass more than just a good time in a thrilling environment, but rather a loving experience that’s personally strengthened her character.

“Since going to raves, I’ve honestly become a lot more confident, and now it’s even easier to talk to people at school. It’s taught me that it’s okay to talk and be yourself.” Munns said.

RHS senior Lexi Harrison credits Munns as being the gateway to her first rave in October of last year. Harrison appreciates her girlfriend showing her an experience that currently amounts to so much in her life.

“I’ve only been to two raves, but it’s the best night every time. It’s the best experience because everyone is positive and the room is filled with good energy.” Harrison said.

Harrison’s first rave was in October 2016 after her girlfriend encouraged her to go. For her, raves have been nothing short of rewarding as she discovers her self-confidence and true friends.

“Everytime I leave a rave I come out really confident and feeling good about myself,” Harrison said. “I just feel really happy about the night I had and the memories that I made. It’s amazing going with my girlfriend and my friends that I meet there.”

While rapid lights and even faster beats typically surround the meaning of raves, so does the inevitable stereotype of these parties merely consisting of substance abuse and inappropriate tendencies. According to Munns, raves are something that represent positive relationships.

“There’s a stigma behind raves that it’s all about drugs and sex and it’s really not, it’s a place of friendship,” Munns said. “At raves there’s this little saying, PLUR, which is peace, love, unity and respect. And I think that embodies raves perfectly.”

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