Peer Pressure


We all face peer pressure. Image from Unsplash.

R. Pragada, Staff Writer

A lot of students face something called peer pressure, especially in high school. Peer pressure is an influence from one’s friends or group to do something you are unsure about. Usually, people give in to peer pressure, which is not always the most responsible thing to do. For example, if your friends were giving you a hard time doing something you didn’t want to do, standing up for yourself and saying no would be the best option. However, things don’t always go down this lane. 

Standing up to peer pressure can be difficult, especially when you find yourself wanting to fit in with the crowd. According to Visionsteen, there are five ways to stand up to negative peer pressure. First, choose friends wisely. Choosing the right friends and the right people to hang around means choosing to hang out with responsible people who won’t force you into anything. Second, learn to stop. This means if someone asks you to do something like buying a drink, stop for a second and think with your brain before making a decision. Do NOT make a split-second decision because, in the heat of the moment, you’ll most likely say something without thinking. Next, practice saying no. Even after thinking about it, a lot of people have trouble telling someone else no. Prepare your answers ahead of time to stand up to your friends and peer pressure. The fourth is the way to consider consequences. For every action you take, there can be a positive outcome or a consequence that can affect you deeply. For example, if you just say yes without thinking, the consequence could be way worse than you think. Lastly, consider alternatives. This means that if someone in your friend group says to do something that would get you in trouble, decline politely and suggest an alternative that could distract the rest of the group as well. Not only have you saved yourself, but you helped them out too. 

These are the five ways to stand up to negative peer pressure in high school (and basically, your whole life). However, there is also positive peer pressure that could help you evolve as a person. According to Reach Out,  ¨Positive peer pressure is when someone’s peers influence them to do something positive or growth building. For example, peers who are committed to doing well in school or at sport can influence others to be more goal orientated. Similarly, peers who are kind, loyal, or supportive influence others to be the same.¨ Advice from your peers can be as helpful and influential as advice from an adult. 

The main point is, in high school, there is negative peer pressure and positive peer pressure. Learn to identify these things and stand up to negative peer pressure and encourage yourself and grow from the positive influences.