Peer pressure is the fundamental issue that everyone faces in school at some time but students at such a tender age struggle to cope with various forms of social pressures like bullying, harassment, loneliness etc. This section will deal with various forms of peer pressure and how to manage to escape from these.
Before starting this, let’s understand what we mean by peer pressure.
So by the word peer, we refer to schoolmates/classmates. So we spend most of the time with them during school timings and hence also work with them in groups. Through the process, an individual might feel the need to do the same things as people their own age or in the social group to be liked or accepted. In order to gain respect and place, some students do things that they shouldn’t do or the things they might not be ready for. Since we live in a social world where we want to fit, have friends, avoid loneliness. Some individual just give in to peer pressure because they don’t want to be rejected by friends.
Common social pressures
So peer pressure grow in intensity as students move up through the grades. Some examples of peer pressures encountered are
- Smoking cigarettes or tobacco/hookah
- Trying alcohol
- Consuming Drugs or intoxicating substances
- Bunking classes without parents knowledge
- Cheating in exams
- Indulging in sexual activity
- Taking Diet pillsor extreme dieting measures
- Sometimes, students force their parents to buy them a phone/laptop or expensive gadgets just because their friends have it.
Ways to deal with peer pressure
- Just say NO
If you don’t feel comfortable about anything that your friends/peers force you to do just say NO. Take your stand by politely saying No. Don’t always follow to your peers instructions blindly. Try to differentiate between what’s right and wrong for you.
2. Spend your time talking to family members
If the pressure still prevails, talk to your parents, teachers or counsellor at school. The counsellors are meant for helping you to come out of problems you face at school. Share your griefs with them openly if you place any.
3. It’s better to be alone than a bad company
Sometimes we give in to peer pressure because we feel lonely. So try investing your time to learn something new and beneficial to you rather than involving with bad companies.
4. Choose friends wisely
Remember a true friend is one who will always help you to grow rather than pushing you to do something which is unethical and illegal. Select those with whom you feel comfortable and those who respect your opinion.
5. Make excuses if required
It’s OK to use an excuse if the truth is too challenging. For example, if someone offers you a drink and you want to say no but feel awkward, say you’re on medication or have to get up early the next day.
Summing up , remember that you can’t (and don’t have to) please everyone or be liked by everyone. It’s a bitter truth that you need to accept.
On part of parents, they should encourage their children to excel in life by telling them what’s right and wrong for them. Be friendly with your children so that they don’t hesitate to talk to you about anything. Try sharing with them the necessary knowledge like drugs, alcohol or unprotected sex. Hence parents should keep check on their child’s life if they are being bullied or pressurised.
As the phrase says “As you sow so shall you reap”. So don’t encourage the groups causing pressures on others or indulge with them. Try to be as far as possible from these.