Written By Sahanaa Reddy (Grade 9)
Peer pressure is always looked upon as one of the most dismissive kinds of influence on the teenagers. Yes, it is very much agreeable that teenagers are prone to get into unhealthy habits and make unpleasant decisions because of peer pressure. Our surroundings influence our decisions and it is not easy to go against all of them when you are feeling insecure or anxious in your new phase of life.
As a matter of fact, all teenagers just want to fit right in and want to feel accepted everywhere. This mindset leads them into doing anything like shaping a new behaviour or instilling a distorted perspective, so that they are not left out or become laughing stocks. But these small changes can end up having a life time damage. Teenagers can be very brutal and judgmental towards others but we cannot absolutely blame them as they go through a new phase where they are very confused and self-centred. In this phase they start questioning the things around them and the smallest of issues make them feel miserable.
Teenagers are not easy to understand as it’s a point in their life where they are discovering their new persona and don’t know who they are yet. Peer pressure can be very intimidating and deflect us from being ourselves but we must not fall prey to this persuasive might. A teen coming from a righteous family could develop an abhorrent vocabulary at school because of peer pressure that coaxed them into the thinking that a vulgar vocabulary is very cool. In many other instances the teens are ready to make objectionable comments on a particular kid on their looks or situation just to remain a part of the cool group. Its alarming to observe that these days the adolescents are indulging into substance abuse and various other intolerable pursuits due to the influence of their friends that they definitely are aware is wrong. Despite that a person who is virtuous would abstain from doing so. I acknowledge that it is hard to go against a group all alone, nevertheless it is preferably better to stay alone and right than stay amid a bag of perished. Tolerating such pessimistic pressure can lead to one falling into continuous loop holes where they get cyber bullied, sexually harassed or abused.
Nonetheless we never centralised the fact that constructive peer pressure can be worthwhile. A teen will always be engrossed and in sync on the topics their friends are into let it be a good one or bad only to feel accepted. We have a tendency of doing what our friends do and speak. We are likely to take interest in a sport because our friend loves that particular sport. In the same aspect peer pressure can be efficacious and usher us to be the better versions of ourselves. It can simply start from asking them to stop doing something that is not right, telling them what is wrong and what is right and helping them develop a good personality. A peer with strong morals will always encourage their friends to follow the right things, rather than inspiring them to get into unsatisfactory behaviour or substance abuse, a principled peer would advise them to seek help or do it themselves as far as they can.
We can never conclude that peer pressure is always negative or positive as everything has two sides. Besides, negative peer pressure always arises from a person that has been neglected emotionally and not given the basic fondness a person requires, which is why they seek validation and attention by digressing into wrongdoings. A problem can never be resolved by pointing fingers, we need to perceive the root cause and spread awareness. But it does not end there, changing a personality that has been there for years is difficult and we need to cheer them up throughout the process and lead their way to a better lifestyle and an incredible character. Altogether, negative things tend to stay but we have to find a positive solution to overcome that. The sun sets but also rises, we need to stay iron-willed through all hindrances and not make an impulsive decision that will be a life time regret for us or our loved ones.
Every turn in life may not always be right but that does not mean every turn is wrong. Peer pressure is a force that is inevitable and dynamic that can be negative as well as positive. We have to take an interest and guide them in the right direction as we shall not forget the future is pivot on them.
“To be yourself in a world that is trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”.
Featured Image Courtesy – EuroSchool