Peer Pressure in the Lives of Students

Melissa Mendoza, Student Life Writer

Peer Pressure is an issue everyone deals with, it is unavoidable. It is especially embedded in a teenagers life, particularly the choices many teenagers make when influenced by peer pressure. Senior Laura Mazo thinks, “ peer pressure is a major factor in teenage life because once you’re a teenager you start caring about other people’s opinion and what they think of you.”

There are all sorts of peer pressure kids face today like drinking, smoking, and staying past curfew, etc. These pressures commonly arise from exposure to social media or popular trends like specific clothing brands, the new iPhone, and many popular name brands. Although kids may not be oblivious to acknowledge it, their peers play an immense part in their choices. It can start small, like cheating, and it can get worse to the point that it may damage their academic performance and social reputation.

TERRA junior Valerie Alegre says, “For many kids, it’s hard for them to resist peer pressure because you want to fit in but sometimes you don’t realize that you don’t have to.”

While it can be hard for many teens to resist peer pressure, especially in the heat of the moment, there is also a positive effect. Just as they can influence others to make negative choices, they also influence positive choices. Teens might encourage others to join volunteer projects, or get good grades because their friends are providing a positive outlook. In fact, many friends often encourage each other to study, try out for sports, or follow new hobbies.

In terms of academic performance, pressure plays a big part in a students life, especially when choosing out AP classes to take. Some students may feel pressured to take more AP classes just to keep up with their friends or just trying to keep up with the competitive state in local schools. It can be a positive and negative thing, students can push themselves and strive while others might be stressed out since many students are not fully prepared to take all these challenging classes.

TERRA counselor Mrs. Fowler says, “It can be a very positive thing but it all depends on the individual’s mind and if they feel like it’s helping them to move forward, great then, but if it’s not then that person needs to rethink what’s going on in their personal life and not allow other to bamboozled them. It’s hard but it’s part of the journey.”    

While teenagers are constantly being influenced by those around them, ultimately the decision is up to them as individuals. They should be able to make their own choices that best suits them instead of being influenced by others.