Choices shouldn’t be made if it’s known the outcome will be negative.


Izzy Ellington, Features Writer

Peer pressure is pressure that will never stop being present in everyone’s life. It can be positive or negative, but being able to differentiate between the two is a skill eventually everyone needs to develop in order to make choices while maintaining personal integrity.


Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is the influence of members of one’s peer group. Teens Health writes it’s, “powerful and hard to resist”, which it is for the majority of people. Peer pressure is present at a party when someone offers another person alcohol. Peer pressure could be something as simple as everyone wearing a pair of shoes, so someone who doesn’t have those shoes buys a pair even though they didn’t necessarily want them in the first place. On a more positive note, peer pressure could also be a friend helping someone go outside of their comfort zone. The idea of peer pressure comes in many forms, but when the situation begins to feel uncomfortable and it’s known that something is wrong, don’t be afraid to say no.


Teen Brains

When a child becomes a teenager, they enter a hard stage in their life, especially within their brains. During the teenage years, the brain is in its prime stage of development because it is the age at which someone gains more independence. Since emotions are being constantly persuaded by extremely strong hormones, teenagers tend to make decisions that adults with fully developed brains would not have made themselves. When a teenager is told not to do something, like drugs or alcohol, they are going to want to form their own opinions based on their own experiences because their brains lead them to be more irrational.


Saying No

Peer pressure doesn’t have to take over every decision that you make. You don’t need to be someone else, act a certain way, or dress differently just because others expect you to. You should stay true to yourself so that you can fully understand what you need and want for your future. Although it may be hard, there are ways to go against peer pressure. Asserting yourself could be one way. Going against other people your age can be scary because teenagers are afraid of rejection, but it’s not rude to stand up for what you believe in. If they are truly your friends, they should be able to respect your boundaries. It’s not mean to simply say “no.” Another strategy could always be having a small self-reflection. Ask yourself questions like,” how will this make me feel? Is this the right thing to do? Will I regret this decision later? Does this decision affect me in a positive or negative way?” Take in how you really feel about the situation and always trust your gut.