Ramie Nakashima

mePeriod 5
Peer Pressure
The hard part of being a teenager is learning to make the right decisions. One of the things that affects decision making is pressure we encounter from friends. Peers influence life. At this stage in life, which is our teen years, we will always try to fit in. Everyone has or will face peer pressure sooner or later. Peer pressure can be broken down into two areas; good peer pressure and bad peer pressure. From being a teenager myself, I have been placed in situations where I was pressured into drugs and alcohol. Its hard to say no, but to avoid peer pressure, you just have to stand up for yourself and walk away from it.
Whether we know it or not, peers influence our life just by spending time with us. We learn from them, and they learn from us. Its only human nature to listen and learn from other people in our age group. As people grow into adulthood, peer pressure rarely occurs because they are older, so they can do a lot to take care of their self, be more independent, and make more choices on their own. They are old enough to accept responsibility for them, along with their positive or negative consequences.
Some kids give in to peer pressure because they want to be liked, to fit in, or because they worry that other kids may make fun of them if they don’t go along with the group. Others may go along because they are curious to try something new that others are doing. The idea that “everyone’s doing it” may influence some kids to leave their better judgment, or their common sense, behind. Peer pressure can be extremely strong and hard to resist.
Bad peer pressure is being forced into doing something that you didn’t want to do because your friends said that you should. Friends have a tendency to think that they know what is best for you, and if your friends are like some of mines, they always offer their opinion whether it is wanted or not. One of the major problems with peer pressure occurs when you get sucked into something that you really didn’t want to do and subsequently, become addicted to it. Usually, people get backed into a situation to try illegal drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes and more then once, and these behaviors can become habit forming.
Good peer pressure, on the other hand, is being pushed into something that you didn’t have the courage to do or just didn’t cross your mind to do. However, as you think about it, it seems like a good thing to do. Good peer pressure can also be a situation when your friends convince you not to do something you were going to do because it wasn’t in your best interest. Some people say that good peer pressure is when you get pushed into something that you didn’t want to do and it turned out well.
I being a teenager and all, have encountered peer pressure at the age of 13 years old. One of my so called friends, told me that smoking cigarettes is really cool. “Here, try one.” So now there’s two voices in your head. One says, “I want to be cool and fit in. If I say no, everyone will think I’m weird.” Another voice says, “Give me a break! Don’t you know that smoking is stupid! No way anyone is going to make me do something that’s bad for me. What kind of a friend are you, anyway?.” Well it was all up to me to make the right choice. So, my answer was no.

It can be hard to walk away from peer pressure, but it can be done. Paying attention to your own feelings and beliefs about what is right and wrong can help you know the right thing to do. Inner strength and self-confidence can help you stand firm, walk away, and resist doing something when you know better. It’s all up to you to make the right decisions that’s good for you. Knowing who to listen to and who to avoid is the biggest step in fighting unwanted, negative peer pressure. Remember, it’s your life and your responsibility for determining what you make of it! So, arm yourself with wisdom and knowledge and some decision making skills, so you can live your own life and finally accept the consequences of doing or not doing something.

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