Peer Pressure in High School: How Does it Affect Us?

Peer pressure drawing in high school

Peer pressure drawing in high school

Victoria Denney, Reporter

Peer pressure – everyone has experienced it. So, what is peer pressure? It is “the influence of members from one’s peer group,” and this is especially true with today’s teens. As we become more independent, peers play a huge role in our life. Besides close friends, peers also include other kids you know who are the same age, like in your grade, sports team, church, and community. It is natural for people to identify and compare themselves with their peers and think how they should be or what they want to achieve. It can make us do things we wouldn’t otherwise do by ourselves, like steal a candy bar when no one is paying attention.

However, peer pressure also can be helpful.  We already know that life is not always easy, especially if you’re in high school. But it can be comfortable to know that we can face these challenges with friends who may be going through the same things.

And with friends you can find acceptance and share experiences. Peers can set many good examples for each other and having friends who are committed in doing well in school can inspire the rest of us to do the same.  Here’s a question: why do we give into peer pressure? Well, its difficult to be the only one who says ‘no’ but it’s not impossible. Paying attention to our feelings and beliefs about what’s right and what’s wrong can help determine the right thing to do.

Emma Wagster, a Senior, said that she had experienced peer pressure. “A few times Freshmen and Sophomore year for me it wasn’t anything that massive cause it was a lot of people who were just starting to try it, but it was mostly just for like alcohol  or weed most of the time, but you just kinda have to look the other way most of the time and usually, it would go away, but if those people started to follow you I would just cut them out for awhile”.  

Everyone has had some experience with it, some more often than others. Like Katie Clark, a Freshmen. “It’s really hard and actually I’ve been under it alot of times and I just really feel stressed out where you just feel like you can’t do anything and it’s hard to explain, and you get a headache you just sort of break down”. Peer pressure may not always be comfortable, but it can always be something we can let bring us down, or used to our benefit.