treibergm wrote:Hi, I am 18-would turn 19 shortly after Burning Man 2014 (20 after Burning Man 2015). I am a University student. I have been interested in making the trip to BRC for a long time now. My parents, aunts, as well as an abundance of family friends attend every year. My parents have no issue with me going, however they express reluctance about me being around them. (This comes out bad... but we have an extremely good relationship.) It is my belief that these worries stem from the drinking and narcotic usage I am very aware they do. As well as maybe simply their behavior during their time there. However, this is odd to me as my mother tends to openly discuss her adventures during her time there (including drugs). We are very liberal (but smart, if i may say) about these things. I'd like to consider myself quite a mature teenager (I've gotten this compliment several times.) I enjoy philosophy, music, anthropology, astronomy, nature, and reading, etc quite a lot. Due to my nerdy nature (if you will), I do not tend to enjoy the company of kids my own age, nor the obnoxious parties they attend (including the ever-present GOAL of getting blackout drunk). I would love to become a Burner and experience all the wonderful means of satisfying my free-spiritedness. While I intend on contributing, exploring, etc. I was wondering how mature Burners feel about underage kids and the (occasional) consumption of alcohol/and or mild narcotics?
Hi there. I replied a little to your post in the "Hello" thread, you can read that after this if you haven't already.
This post of yours is more specific, so I'll give you some feedback on this one as well.
If I run into an 18 year old who drinks or consumes mild narcotics and is minding their own business, it probably wouldn't bother me or the average passerby, in part because 1) there would be no way of easily knowing your exact age, or 2) even necessarily knowing what it is you've consumed (or whether you're just eccentric). Personally, I really don't care what substances people of any age are doing, as long as these people seem to be doing well--not in need of medical or psychological assistance--and are neutral or positive presences near me on the playa. (I can't speak for everyone, but that's a pretty common stance.) It's only if someone is acting like a jackass that I mind what they're doing, intoxicated or not.
Now--if I were a playa bartender--or pouring drinks for youthful new acquaintances, things would be different. I'd ask to see some ID before serving you, because serving a minor comes with a $1,000 fine in Nevada, and no one wants that. And playa bars (and individuals) will
ask you for ID. Bonus: claiming to be 21+ to get alcohol is illegal in NV--I think. (You can google that one).
You won't want to transport anything illegal into the event without informing anyone you're traveling with because there are road stops for minor things (like speeding, or dust-covered/obscured license plates) that sometimes evolve into vehicle searches and canine units. To get your driver in trouble would obviously be a immoral thing, as well as very problematic for you.
Note also: if you ask anyone for alcohol or drugs, especially while looking young, people will suspect you're an undercover officer. Humorously, undercover officers are much less popular than someone who just happens to be a bit young.
Finally, be really careful of strangers (especially older) who offer you drugs or alcohol. There are a lot of really nice people at the event, but also a few bad apples.
Also, would I be treated as young, young kid? Would there be anyone for me to connect with, talk to? Or is it a general opinion that I would feel ostracized and ashamed of being so young? Genuine inquiry. These responses may let me know if I should start saving up for BM 2015!
Socially, I think you will be fine (but I went into this in my other post).