Peer Pressure Doesn’t Make Us Diamonds

BY AZLYN HAIN –School News Co-Editor

Most teens and kids have been peer pressured at some point. Influences may be positive, but most are negative, leading us down the wrong paths.

Smoking, drugs, alcohol, and sex are a handful of things that people our age think are ‘cool’ because ‘everyone does it.’

According to Parent Further, “Only about ten percent of those surveyed, said they have never been influenced by peer pressure.” What about the rest?

We should all know that smoking cigarettes, taking drugs, or drinking alcohol isn’t the best for us, but we still do it anyway. Our friends do it and they tell us how “amazing” it is.

It seems it is expected for teens to smoke, drink, and participate in sexual activities. It is advertised in shows, movies, commercials, radio, by celebrities, and our own friends.

According to The Canadian Lung Association, “My friends smoke” and “I thought it was cool” are the main reasons ages 12 to 17 start smoking.

In the Kaiser Family Foundation study, it was found that “One-third of teenage males feel pressure from their friends to have sex, and 23 percent of females.”

Teens and other kids are pressured directly, indirectly, and individually.

Direct is as simple as others telling you to do something, or try it, while indirect may occur when you do something with a particular group of friends. Individual pressure is when you want to fit in, so others’ habits become your own.

There are many ways to avoid peer pressure, and take responsibility for yourself.

Find a group with similar interests as you to avoid bad influences, and say no when bad choices are presented to you. Also, don’t judge those who make the wrong decisions, but instead take action and stand up for yourself and others who are being pressured.

Bad influences and peer pressure do nothing good for us. Avoid the pressure and say no.

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