Peer Pressure

Andrea Gladney, Staff Writer

Today’s youth have been taught all about peer pressure and why they should avoid it when in all actuality, it’s just providing them with another way to avoid taking responsibilities for their own actions.
Peer pressure refers to the influence exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to a groups norm.
I received my first lesson on peer pressure through my fourth grade teacher and at the time I didn’t question it.
As of now, I am thoroughly convinced that peer pressure is basically a lame excuse to make really stupid decisions and not take full responsibility for them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not diffusing the idea of peer pressure as a whole, I just think lately it’s become nothing but an excuse for teenagers and young adults. It’s easier for someone to say they tried alcohol or drugs because someone pressured them into doing so as opposed to saying they did it because they wanted to.
Peer pressure takes some of the responsibility off of people. Its become a way to blame others and their influences for the choices we make. Of course, our peers may bring things to our attention but we are the ones who ultimately make the decision to partake in certain activities. It is possible to say no, I’ve done it more times than I can count.
I don’t believe in peer pressure as much as others because I firmly believe people don’t do things they don’t want to do unless they’re being physically forced to. We make our own decisions therefore if someone is repeatedly offered alcohol and they accept, they did so because they wanted to. But if someone says they were pressured into it, they become the victim.