It is human nature to need company. We can’t survive without interactions. We need to interact, especially with those who belong to the same age group as ours, our peers.
Both school and college life are strategic times in everyone’s lives. Those are years that shape us into the person we become. They are spaces where we meet people of ages similar to ours, thinking similar or distinct with ours and quite different from us in various aspects, too.
what is peer pressure?
It occurs when one does something, whether intentionally or unintentionally after succumbing to the pressure created by one’s peers (friends, colleagues, acquaintances, co-workers).
UNDERSTANDING THE NEGATIVE CONNOTATIONS ATTACHED
More often than not, peer pressure makes us do something negative, something entirely against principles and beliefs. In such a scenario, the pressure tend to become a largely negative term.
Our youth Television channels are filled with shows that feature how teens fall prey to peer pressure and end up taking drastic steps. Many who don’t commit to something under such pressure end up being bullied, harassed, teased. While active measure have been/are being taken to prevent such acts, they still remain a widespread reality.
From something as minor as changing the way you dress to “fit in”, to something as adverse as taking the first of many puffs of a cigarette- peer pressure has the ability to transform lives of individuals.
DISTINGUISHING THE GOOD V/S THE EVIL
Many of you readers are perhaps going to begin a new academic session at college, as freshers or seniors, or maybe at school. You may be nervous, may be wanting acceptance from your peers. It is natural, everyone wants to be liked, to be accepted, to have friends.
But the important thing to remember is to never let any of these above mentioned “wants” make you do something you never wanted to do. Do not let the pressure from your peers turn your positive ideals and beliefs around. Don’t do anything JUST to be accepted by others.
Learn to demarcate between the good and the evil thing to do. Stick to doing what is right-it’ll make you like yourself more.
After all, nobody, but you, requires to accept you the most. You are your #1. Don’t let your peers make you a lesser person in the eyes of your #1.
transforming the meaning
The massive influence of peer pressure on someone’s actions and choices can be used as a tool to transform so many things for the greater good. While the negative aspects are undeniably existing for generations now, seldom do we see it being positively used to change lives.
What if peer pressure influenced homophobic people to understand and accept the LGBTQs? What if it woke people up to the reality that Feminism is not male-hatred? What if it made people intolerant to racism and bigotry?
Sounds miraculous, doesn’t it?
Let us offer seats to the needy on public transport and look down upon those of us who don’t. Let us break free from socially constructed ideas of beauty and shun those of us who choose to stick to them. Let us build each other up and accept our differences. Let us pressurize those of us who do otherwise.
Maybe, this can be our revolution.