Another Brick in the Wall

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Natalia Clement

When struggling with peer pressure one must ask what's worst: feeling it or caving in?

Natalia Clement, Staff Writer

We’ve all seen those overly-exaggerated movie scenes where a group of teenagers push the sweet innocent-minded kid into cutting class or eliciting drugs. Although  parents constantly worry about all the friends their own kids hang out with, the truth is that peer pressure isn’t that prevalent — particularly at Gables. Upon walking into the pavilion or talking to someone at a game,  the Cavalier Nation’s accepting vibes radiate off of almost every individual. Although peer pressure is still very existent, it is no longer prevalent as students begin to view the controversial issues  as ‘you do it? cool. you don’t? that’s fine as well.’

“I don’t see peer pressure often, but I’ve heard about it and seen some kids go through it. I think there’s always peer pressure and it can be as over-exaggerated as others make it seem; it’s just that most of us that aren’t going through it don’t see it,” said freshman Jennifer Monnar.

In high school, there are many who think that doing what’s reckless is the way to live, because of this, there’s bound to be at least one instant where one encounters peer pressure. Peer pressure could stem from  trying not to be the odd one out, but there are also more subtle ways it occurs. Overhearing how great of a smoke session your friends had over the weekend, or how at the last party everyone had a great time hooking up can make you reevaluate yourself.

When it comes to the heavy duty topics of peer pressure like drugs and sex, everyone is talking. The question is, are you listening?Knowing that not everyone witnesses  peer pressure on a daily basis makes recognizing it harder. The situation doesn’t have to be blatantly obvious,  it can be those days where you wore a specific fashion trend because everyone else did it, or the endless guilt trips you’ve caved into when asked to slide over the work you stayed up all night for.

“In daily life, it’s very easy to be affected by the opinion of those around you, especially as a teenage girl when one wants to keep up with friends. Choosing the college I wanted to attend next year, which should have been an individual decision, became a peer pressure situation. I wanted to stay with my friends and family, so instead of focusing on my preferences, I thought of others; which come to think of it is unfair because it’s my future we’re talking about, no one else’s, ” said senior Sheyla Tendero.

The sad truth about the mentality of teens today is that they feel the need to be accepted by those around them, following what is considered to be the norm while hiding their own opinions. This is what makes  peer pressure a fundamental  problem. It is not always easy, but to get past peer pressure people need to stop caring  about what others think.

“Peer pressure is something we all deal with, whether it’s with friends or with strangers that you are trying to impress. There is no avoiding it; only how you choose to take it. Some choose to collapse while others go against it and do what they know is right, ” said sophomore Armando Andres.

As often or rare as one may experience it individually, there will always be people that will want to influence others; whether it be the moments we hope our parents will never find out about, or simple things that affect who we are as people. They key is to express our own opinions, make our own decisions, and not be another brick in the wall.