By J1 Reporter Ella Meis
Your friends ask you to drink alcohol, do you say yes or no? Responding with a “no” will make you come across as a buzzkill.
It can seem like saying “yes” to peer pressure is the only way to fit in. According to Brett Laursen, an expert on teen psychology, teenagers feel insecure and are willing to do anything to be a part of the crowd.
Teenage years can be filled with anxiety and vulnerability because of this need to fit in. Therefore, when you care what others think, it can be difficult to say no to peer pressure.
Peer pressure can affect people both positively and negatively. For Example, Junior Annie Compton, said she was pressured into doing something that resulted in a positive outcome. “I was excited to sing in the talent show freshman year,” she said.
The Marian talent show is filled with singing, dancing, and comedic routines. It took Annie by surprise when she began losing her voice a few days before the show. Fellow friends and family advised her to refrain from talking until the talent program, so she would have a better chance of performing flawlessly. She followed their guidance and was able to perform without any unexpected bumps in the road.
Junior Isha Kishore, transferred from Millard North to Marian her sophomore year. She says, “When I first started school at Marian, I was in show choir but wasn’t quite sure if I should try out for the musical at the beginning of the school year or not.” A few of her show choir friends pressured her into giving it a try. They told her that it would be an enjoyable experience. Isha decided to try out and ended up earning a part in the musical which also gave her the opportunity to meet fellow Marian students.
Even though there are forms of positive peer pressure, it is negative peer pressure that is talked about most.
The following scenario is far too common in spotlighting negative peer pressure. The Prep football game is tonight but Jane has three tests the next day. Everyone seems to be going to the game. Her friends pressure her into going. “Would you rather stay at home studying for a stupid math test or have fun with all of us at the game?” asked Jane’s friends. She didn’t want to be left out or seem like a killjoy. Jane decided to go and because of that decision, she could not study for her tests the following day. Sadly, her overall grade percentage took a detrimental hit.
Negative peer pressure seems to be at an all-time high with the increased use of social media among teenagers. Teens are constantly connected and seem to always know the latest activities.
According to Stacy Ultican, a mother of two, a few things you can do if you are being peer pressured into something you aren’t quite comfortable with would be: come up with an excuse on why you can’t do the thing they are pressuring you to do, say “no” and follow it up with a positive statement, just make new friends!
A positive high school experience includes participation in activities that make you feel happy and good about yourself.