Stand Up, Stand Out

Photo labeled for reuse by google.

Photo labeled for reuse by google.

Peer Pressure is a silent killer. Even if you don’t see it happening it still creeps into our lives. Whether it’s in relationships, friendships, or just acquaintances, it can come from anyone in our lives. Surviving peer pressure is a difficult task. However, it isn’t impossible to stand up for your beliefs and stay strong.

First, remember to keep a good support to hold you accountable and remind you what your values are! Peer pressure is already a hard burden to face and no one should have to go through it alone. Whether this means having a buddy that goes with you to parties to make sure you aren’t pressured into anything, making sure you don’t close yourself off from others when you’re in a relationship, or simply having someone to call if you get into a bad situation and you need a way out. Whatever the situation, it is never a bad idea to have someone on your side in order to stand up with you and for you. A great resource of support if you feel like you can’t find anyone to help is the counseling staff at your school. They are there to help listen and equip you with ways to deal with problems exactly like this in your life. Plus, knowing that you have a stable, supporting companion in the school always keeps things easy! Maddie Stewart, an Air Academy freshman said, “Peer pressure seems like a tide; it’s too difficult to fight against it. To conquer this, you should know where the tide is and where it is headed before you take a swim. It is best to associate yourself with a good group of people and listen to your instincts.” It is easier to fight peer pressure when you have a good support system.

Second, learn to distance yourself from those pressuring you. I know this sounds hard, but if a person or people in your life are making you feel forced into things that you don’t feel comfortable doing, then why are they a part of your life? It’s hard to recognize and set boundaries with these people because they can often be the people we are closest to. A boyfriend/girlfriend, a best friend, a sibling. Although this may be hard, if someone can’t consider your feelings, then they shouldn’t be close enough to you and have the ability to pressure you. When asked about peer pressure Air Academy Junior Marie Cloonan said, “Peer pressure can not only influence bad decisions at parties but it also influences the way they act and how they develop their personalities. I have seen many kind human beings turn to gossip and superficial items for happiness because their peers were also doing so.”

Third and last, remember who you are. Before you had that one friend that made you feel stupid if you didn’t party with them. Before you had that boyfriend or girlfriend who didn’t respect your boundaries. Before your best friend started acting a certain way, and you did to right behind them. You are who you are and no one should ever have the power to pressure you into things that you aren’t okay with. Just like most things in life, the path to standing up to peer pressure is hard. However taking a stand and staying true to yourself is really all that matters at the end of the day. Ally Reeder, an Air Academy Junior, said, “The only person you should try to impress is yourself.”

Stay strong and don’t be afraid to fight back against peer pressure.