--Original published at Caroline's Blog
Peer pressure is something that people of all ages have to deal with almost every day, whether it be in the classroom, workplace, or everyday life. Sometimes, the easiest way to avoid peer pressure is to remain neutral and do what you believe is the best decision, but this can become very difficult and almost impossible.
One source from Monmouth University’s “The Outlook” discusses the idea of peer pressure from the perspective of a college student. This perspective is very interesting as it relates to the lives of people who are also struggling through the intensity of college. The article relates peer pressure back to the movie Mean Girlsand how it demonstrates that giving into peer pressure would not be beneficial for anyone. It mentions that as a college student, you should establish a strong supportive friend group that does not guilt you into doing things you are uncomfortable with. It also discusses not needing to seek approval from others to be satisfied with yourself. I do believe that these plans would be very beneficial for the college student. Seeking approval will do nothing but make you more nervous about yourself and your personality, so staying true to yourself will be very beneficial.
Another source focuses on handling the peer pressure of children from the perspective of a parent. The article from greatschools.org gives parents five steps to share with their children who are dealing with pressure from friends. This website explains that parents should tell their children to take a breath first, find the words, think it through, ask, “what could we do instead?”, and to walk away. This process allows children to process the situation, stay calm, think about the right and wrong thing to do, question alternative options, and to stand strong and walk away rather than be intimidated. The only issue that I see arising from this process of handling peer pressure is not confronting the source of the peer pressure and telling them that this is not right or helpful for their situation.
Finally, this last source focuses on the teenager’s perspective, and the website, yourlifecounts.org discusses twenty ways that their target audience, readers of Teen Magazine, can avoid peer pressure. A couple of ideas that stood out to me were avoiding stressful situations in the first place, consider what would happen if you gave in to the situation, and evaluate your friendships. Although the last tip sounds helpful, the other two do not seem as if they would lead to positive results. Avoidance does and will not resolve any issues, instead it would build upon them until they explode and cause more issues. Considering giving into the situation would make you the weaker or lesser person. For a person who is already vulnerable simply for being a teenager, avoiding situations or making the wrong decision and giving into peer pressure will not allow you to have a smooth ride throughout the bumpy road that is high school. Peer pressure is a dangerous thing, and staying true to yourself and making the right decision will help you immensely in the long run.