Pressure in Teens
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Grades. Friends. Clubs. Extra-curricular activities.
Nowadays, teenagers face pressures from their peers and other groups to fit in and be normalized in society. Whether it be to do drugs, skip class, or even “positive” pressures like making good grades, or following the rules to a T, many teenagers can testify to the pressures they feel they face in life.
In fact, Love to Know: Teens states that “Only 10 percent of teenagers surveyed said that they had not been influenced by peer pressure.”
Peer pressure, especially in teenagers whose minds are still developing and learning about the world, can be found in many young social groups, especially those with a higher “social ranking” than others. When young and still foolish individuals give into how their peers want them to fit in, they give way for themselves into the popular groups, where teenagers were expected to follow social cues and quos that may not be for everyone.
“My friends tend to put me in the spot at times,” 8th grader Ainsley McGee said, “[they] want me to do bad things with them. I hate saying no, because I feel like that causes a lot of negativity.”
Teenagers are not only pressured by their peers to do what may be wrong; they also feel pressured into doing what’s accepted as right, such as getting A’s in classes, even if one doesn’t understand the material, having perfect attendance, despite feeling sickly, and participating in sports or clubs, where they might not have interest in them.
“It can get really hard at times,” a freshman, who preferred to remain anonymous, said, “I feel like my teachers and parents expect me to be completely perfect and more, but I just can’t do that.”
Teenagers can’t help the way they were brought into the world, or how they fit into it, however, it seems as though peers and others want teens to fit into a certain mold that not everyone can mold themselves into.
“Due to my upbringing, I’m not exactly “in the know…’” junior Elysa Meadows said, “Kids many times jeer at me because of it. It doesn’t really bother me though, I quite like being different and unique.”