Peer Pressure, and Why It Can Be a Good Thing


Natalie Diaz (9th), Reporter

Peer pressure is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be.


Peer pressure, by definition, is “influence from members of one’s peer group.” This means that the people you surround yourself with has the possibility to define who you yourself are as a person. However, don’t automatically assume peer pressure is all bad, because sometimes peer pressure can be a good thing.


If you choose to hang out around people who excel in school with respectful morals and aspirations, then you will strive in high school and throughout life. The people that you hang around shape your decisions and personality through their own choices and personalities. Think about it – if you’re spending time with the wrong group of kids, and you know it, then you will most likely fall down the wrong path.


However, “Peer pressure is not always negative. Sometimes, it inculcates new hobbies, habits, attitudes health conscience or a strong urge to succeed amongst people and where this happens, it is positive.” said Adeyemi Raphael Oluwamayowa, author of Peer Pressure: A Practical Guide to Handle it Successfully. Peer pressure does indeed play a huge role in what you do, for better or for worse.


If one tries to branch out from their groups of friends in hopes of making new (or perhaps better) ones, it is possible some of the bad influences might keep them from leaving through convincing words or actions. Everyone wants to be liked and feel accepted, and this mindset influences us to spend time with anyone who makes us feel needed or special.


Now, it’s time to figure out what you want and what you think will benefit you. That is, does your need to succeed outweigh your need to be liked or accepted?


Peer pressure also plays a big factor in our morals. If there is something that you know is wrong and people are tempting you to do it, then do not be afraid to stand your ground and say “no.” Distance yourself from anyone or anything that may cause you harm. Do not buy the lie that “everyone is doing it” or “it’s not a big deal,” because the truth is, not everyone is doing it. And, usually, not everyone is comfortable with what is happening if they are participating in inappropriate situations.


Speak out and don’t pressure others into doing something that they don’t want to do. Don’t become the thing you hate. Speak out on problems that are wrong, and don’t be afraid of stating your opinion. Your decision to speak up will not be forgotten by the person who couldn’t speak for themselves. Use peer pressure to your advantage to do good by spreading positivity wherever you go!