Peer pressure is the influence that a peer group exerts on someone. It can be positive or negative pressure. Therefore, it is part of the human nature to respond to peer pressure. Different people respond to peer pressure differently. Some give in to the pressure while others refuse to accept. It is especially during their young age that people experience a lot of peer pressure and this is in most cases negative pressure. These are especially the high school and college going students. Therefore, it is essential that people know how to have independent thinking and avoid being swayed by peers (Raum, 2008).
When I was in high school, the pressure that I experienced was alcoholism and exaggerated partying. Through my peers, we developed the habit of partying over the weekends even up to the morning hours. This is the time when most of us lived with our parents but we did not mind the trouble our irresponsible behavior put us through. This is the rebellious age and we always had the urge to challenge authorities and thus it did not matter to us the reactions of our parents. One Saturday, I arrived home at dawn prior to my parents warning not to be late again. My mother was very upset with me and even calmly offered to give a few items for me to start my new life alone or agree to get home early. Being the people that I frequently got the money from, I had to take the option of arriving home early.
However, the situation never changed. I even had the audacity to laugh it off with my friends when we met the following day. I always thought that these were the best friends to keep but little did I know that I was being led astray. Peer pressure is very influential and especially to the teenagers. Therefore, they need to make choices and weigh what they get from their peers, parents, teachers, the media or the people around them. In my case, I decided to go with the advice of my peers and seemed to enjoy it anyway. However, this was only a short lived joy.
The turning point came one day when as we were driving from our favorite drinking joint, we almost had a head on collision with an oncoming vehicle. Being drunk, over speeding was one of the experiences that we enjoyed. My parents had frequently warned me that my irresponsible behavior would one day land me in serious trouble. I was on the highway and since the way seemed clear to me, I thought that it was the best opportunity for me to exercise what I thought were my excellent driving skills. Over speeding is something that my friends cheered all through. I was approaching a round about and did not know that there was an oncoming car. Trying to evade the collision, the car swayed and luckily safely landed at the side of the highway.
It is at this point that I remembered my mothers words that my behaviors would not go any far. Having escaped from what would otherwise have been death, I made a decision to quit that irresponsible drinking and over speeding. It is then that I realized I had kept the wrong company. Though it was not the best leaning experience, I learned to be more responsible, listen to the advice offered by authorities and shun from bad influences. This was achieved by developing a high self esteem and thus never got afraid speaking my boundaries to my friends. I also learned to make choices without being influenced by my peers.
Raum, E. (2008). Peer Pressure. Heinemann Lib publishers.
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