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Understanding Peer Pressure Among Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Female student looking at the camera with her friends as the background.

Understanding Peer Pressure Among Students

As we navigate the world of education, it’s no secret that we’ll encounter many challenges and obstacles along the way. One of the most common issues facing students today is peer pressure.

Whether it’s feeling pressured to participate in certain activities or conform to specific behaviors, the influence of peers can be incredibly strong.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the nature of social influence among students, its causes and effects, and most importantly, how to overcome it to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.

What is peer pressure among students?

What does it mean when social influence is put on students? Peers are people who are about the same age as you. For example, your classmates. People trying to get you to behave in a certain way or do something is called “peer pressure.”

View of students talking in front of a building.

Even if your friends aren’t trying to change you in any way, you might still want to be like them. You can like and do the same things as your friends and classmates, as long as it feels right to you. But above all else, you should try to be real and true to yourself.

Who are your peers?

Who are people considered to be peers? When you were young, your parents probably chose who would be your friends. They might put you with other kids in a playgroup. Now that you’re an adult, choosing whom you hang out with and what groups you join is up to you.

Your peers are people about the same age as you or who are close to your age and have similar experiences and hobbies. You and your friends make many decisions every day, and how you connect with each other affects how you make decisions and act. This is usually a good thing since it’s in everyone’s nature to listen to and learn from others their age.

Your friends will naturally become more important to you as you gain more freedom and independence. Because of school and other things you do away from home, you may spend more time with your friends than with your parents and other family members.

You will probably become close friends with a few of your classmates, and you may feel like you are so deeply linked to them that they are like your extended family. The way your friends dress and act, the things they do, and the way they act can also affect you.

When people think about who they want to be (or who they think they should be) or what they want to do, they normally identify with their peers and compare themselves. This is considered peer pressure.

People are affected by their peers because they want to be part of their group, be like other people in their group whom they respect, do what other people are doing, or have what other people have.

Peer Influence Isn’t All Bad

You already know that being a teenager can be hard in many ways. You are still learning things about yourself, like who you are, what you believe, what you are good at, what your responsibilities are, and where you will fit in the world.

Having friends who are interested in the same things as you can help you feel better about these difficulties.

Even though you might not hear much about it, people who are the same age have a big effect on each other’s lives and play important roles in each other’s lives. These can be as follows:

Friendship

You can find friends and be accepted by your peers. You can also share events with them that can lead to bonds that last a lifetime.

Positive examples

What one peer does can have a big effect on what another peer does.

Being around people who are committed to getting good grades or doing their best in a sport can make you more goal-oriented. Being around friends who are kind and reliable makes you want to become more like them.

Even people you’ve never met can be role models! For example, if you see someone your age compete in the Olympics, play the piano, or lead a community project, it might inspire you to go after your own dream.

Feedback and advice

Peers can help you decide on many things, such as which classes to take, whether or not to get your hair cut, whether or not to let it grow out, or how to talk to a family member about a problem you’re having.

Peers often help each other out by giving good advice. Your close friends won’t be afraid to tell you if they think you’re doing something wrong or taking unnecessary risks.

Socializing

People in your friend group will give you chances to try new ways of getting along with others. This kind of peer pressure can help you learn how to make new friends, build relationships, and get along with people who are different from you.

New experiences

Some of your friends may try to get you to join groups like clubs, sports teams, or faith communities. Without the help of your peers, you wouldn’t have nearly as many different things to do in your life. For example, you might not have been inspired to try sushi for the first time, listen to a CD you had never heard before, or try out for the school play.

When the Pressure is On

Sometimes, the people around you can be the cause of your worry. They might put enough pressure on you to get you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

It can be hard to resist the urge to follow and do what everyone else does. People can feel like they have to do something just because everyone else does it.

A person might give in to group pressure and do something that won’t hurt them too much, or they might give in and do something that will hurt them more.

People naturally give in to social influence. However, some people are more likely to give in, while others are better able to fight back and keep their independence in the face of resistance.

People who aren’t sure of themselves or who tend to follow rather than lead may be more likely to give in to a dangerous challenge or suggestion to get the approval of their peers.

What is the impact of peer pressure on students?

What does it mean when students feel pressure from their peers? This can have different effects on different people. Social influence can help an adolescent with some of their skills or worsen some of the problems they already have.

A teenager with low self-esteem and a small group of close friends, for example, may be more likely to give in to negative social influence. On the other hand, a teenager who is open and confident may be more likely to give and accept positive social influence.

Group of students talking in the school campus.

A person’s mental health can also be hurt by how their friends treat them. It could cause the person to lose confidence in themselves, do poorly in school, grow apart from family and friends, or feel more anxious and sad.

On the other hand, there are times when teens do better when a little bit of social influence is put on them. Social influence can be good, like when it pushes someone to do well in school, learn to be a leader, participate in extracurricular activities, or volunteer for a good cause.

By using constructive social influence, people can build a sense of belonging, more self-confidence, and a stronger sense of who they are.

How can teens deal with peer pressure?

How can teens keep from being influenced by their peers? Parents need to support open communication with their children and help them come up with ways to deal with situations where their peers might pressure them in a bad way.

Group of students hanging out in the hallway of a school.

Check out these six tips for parents to keep teens from giving in to bad social influence and help them respond well.

  1. From a young age, parents should try to make their children feel like they can talk to them about anything. They should look for chances to talk to their child about the pressure they have seen or felt and how it made them feel. Parents must tell them they’re ready to help them if they need it.
  2. Parents must talk about any personal events they may have had with social influence and how they dealt with it. They must do healthy things to set a good model for their children.
  3. Parents must teach their children how to set boundaries and talk in a way that is assertive and sure. They must tell them to think about what they would say if something went wrong and have them practice saying “no” in different ways.
  4. Together with their child, parents should come up with a plan for how to deal with negative social influence. They must assure them that it’s okay to use lame reasons when they don’t know what to do and work with them to devise other clever ways to get out of an awkward situation.
  5. Parents must encourage their children to look for healthy relationships, choose friends who will accept them, and not put them under too much pressure.
  6. They must help their child feel like an individual and teach them to listen to their feelings. Parents must tell them it’s okay to fail some people because they can’t make everyone happy.

If worries about teens and the impact of their peers don’t go away, parents should get more help from the child’s teachers, the school’s administration, or a mental health professional.

In conclusion, peer pressure is a common issue among students that can have a significant impact on their lives. While it’s natural to want to fit in and be accepted by peers, it’s important to recognize when that pressure becomes harmful or excessive.

By being true to yourself and learning how to say no to negative influences, you can overcome social influence and make positive choices that align with your values and goals.

Being true to yourself includes accepting who you are and what you want. By seeking guidance and advice from experienced professionals, you can better understand your strengths, interests, and potential career paths.

This, in turn, can help you make informed decisions about which colleges or universities to apply to and which study programs to pursue.

That’s why AdmissionSight is here to help. Our admissions consultants will provide you with services to ensure you are on the right track toward achieving your academic and career goals. So, what are you waiting for? Book your initial consultation today!

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