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Handling Peer Pressure
Everyday teens are being bombarded with various ideas and solutions perpetuated by their classmates that they must do or say certain things in order to fit in. Whether it’s clothing, hair, or the type of music one listens to- it is obvious that every teen wants to fit in to their surroundings. But does someone have to fit in at the expense of their own self-esteem? Must our young people give in to the idea that they must follow others in order to be accepted, or must they follow their own path to social acceptance? In this article, we will explore just how to overcome and defeat peer pressure.
It is wise to know that fads in middle school and high school are only temporary. Even though you may think that whatever other people want you to do will last forever, it doesn’t. In order to avoid making the mistake of doing something you may regret when you are older, it is important to realize that you and your classmates will not be the same people in ten or twenty years. Your classmates will be much older and wiser. They will have their own families and careers, completely distant from the forgotten antics of their adolescent years. You will have your own life that will be very different from your current life as a teenager as well. And just think, at the reunion, you all will be laughing in amazement at the very thought of what you did in school with the response, “What on earth were we thinking back then?”
You must realize who you are as a person. You must discover your own individuality and be confident. You have to trust in your own instincts and find out what makes you happy. What are your goals? What makes you overjoyed with excitement? Are there any hobbies that you enjoy doing? Develop close relationships with family and friends and you will realize that you have an entire community of individuals who care about and respect you. It is comforting to realize that the people closest to you will always stand beside you, no matter what. Also, in order to further develop your sense of self, take out a sheet of paper and write down your likes and dislikes and your plans for the future. Keep this sheet of paper in a special place where you can look at it every single day. By glancing at this paper, you will become stronger in your sense of self and realize that pressure from others can never affect your identity.
Finally, making sure you ask an adult you admire about how they handle pressure from others is also helpful. It may seem strange that someone much older than you has faced peer pressure, but it’s true. Everyone has faced some sort of pressure from others to do something that they did not want to do. Learning how other individuals around you handle pressure will allow you to realize that you are not alone in your struggle.
In the end, it’s important to know that the world we live in has its own ideas about what’s cool and what isn’t, but knowing that you don’t have to let the opinions of others define you is much more liberating than giving in to peer pressure.
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