Stand Up for What You Believe in

February 21, 2008
By Emily Summers, Cameron Park, CA

Peer pressure is something every person has or will go through in their life. I for one have had to deal with it before; during the summer of eighth grade. My best friend Lesley had always been somewhat of a bad kid and yet I have always managed to stay best friends with her. Shy, nice, and kind are words to describe me, while bad, rotten, selfish, and rude were the words used to describe my best friend Lesley. All throughout the summer and school year of eighth grade we went through many different emotions and differences.

Towards the end of the school year with, graduation drawing near, I noticed that Lesley had become more and pushier towards me and very lazy. She never did her homework, she never stayed focus in class, and overall, she just was not being that great of a friend. She always asked me to do things for her that she did not feel like doing herself, which did not bother me, but then it started to get more and more extreme. Sometimes she asked me to do her homework for her, and other times she just simply wanted to copy from me, which I didn’t think was right. I never said anything though, and I never even received a thank you! I could not quite figure out what was going on with her, was it something I did? What was wrong? Could I help her if she told me? Is it something serious? Those were some of the questions going through my head at the time. But I decided just to go along with it, and it would hopefully improve.

As the weeks went by, it did not get any better, it actually got worse. Now she wanted me lie about some of the things that we were going to do, not just to my friends, but to my parents. One night she invited me to go to the movies, when really we were going to go to a party that my parents strictly told me not to go to. I couldn’t help but going along with it, because she told me, “Come on, it’s only this one time! Please, be a good friend!” Her words seemed to trap me and I knew that I had to do it, even though I hate lying to anyone, especially my own family. All I wanted to know was why we had to sneak around without anyone knowing about what we were up to?

Our friendship also ended that summer because of one night, and truly because of that night. I could handle all of the small things before that night, because nothing could compare to what that night brought. She asked told me to smoke with her, “Come on try it, be a good friend!”

“No way! Never! I will never do that in my life, and neither should you! I can’t even believe you! What are you thinking? Has this stuff fried your brain or something!?”

“”It’s not that bad! Come on try it!”

“No!! Les, I can’t even believe you, how long have you been doing this?!? You need help, now!” is told her.

“I do not need help, I’m used to it! Just try it!” She tried to convince me, but it didn’t work at all. I ended up telling her mom about that night which was what ended our friendship. It also was the best choice I ever made, because now Lesley is fine and it quite glad I did what I had done for her that night. I can’t even imagine what could have happened that night if I hadn’t done what I had done.

Sometimes you have to take a risk for the people you love, like a friendship. But just know that it is for the best, even though you might lose something or someone, just picture how it would have been if you didn’t do what you had done.

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