Self Confidence Overcomes Peer Pressure This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Why do we, as teenagers, feel so compelled to give in to what others believe or do? The answer is simple - peer pressure - but the solution isn't quite as easy. Everyone knows what peer pressure is by now and that morally we shouldn't give in to it. Yet, there are still kids getting drunk, doing drugs, having sex without protection merely because they want to fit in. Fit in with whom, the "popular" people, who don't know when to quit? More often than not, they are the ones who end up in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, or at home putting their baby to bed while everyone else is out having fun. Is this what is considered popular now? I hope with all my heart that these aren't the standards we use today. Sure, in the past few years, a high percentage of teens have smartened up and gotten their lives on the right track before it was too late. But I also hear friends talk about "getting trashed" and I feel pity for them because they don't notice how much of their life they're wasting. These activities are said to be a part of growing up, but I want to be sure I get a chance to grow up.

It has to be by far the most uncomfortable situation when we're asked to choose between what's "right" and what's "in." No one wants to make the decision, but the easier of the two is to give in to peer pressure and be like everyone else. Adults say we're educated about this, but, unfortunately, knowing the facts isn't enough. The whole problem is a lack of self-assurance. We need to have the feeling that the only person we have to please is ourselves. It takes someone with an incredible amount of courage and self-confidence to defy the accepted answer. Once we have trust and faith in ourselves, overcoming peer pressure will come naturally.

This new outlook won't be easy to achieve, or easy for others to deal with, but in order to beat the odds and avoid becoming just another statistic, it must be accomplished. Our actions should reflect our moral values if we want to fulfill our expectations and dreams. I hope that with time everyone will be able to say they live according entirely to what they believe. Not many people can truthfully say they do. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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john cena said...
Oct. 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm
peer pressure is just a part of growing up. i mean, i had a lot of it when i was a kid.
 
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