Teen pressure

By Laisha Cruz, Staff Writer

When a person feels pressured to do something we call it peer pressure.  This can be either positive or negative, depending on what the pressure is.  Teen peer pressure often makes teens feel forced to participate in activities such as sexual activity, drugs, alcohol, etc. The reason why people feel the pressure  is because if you feel like if you “don’t” participate in the activity they will think you are lame. Teens are afraid they won’t fit in with the other teenagers.  Because teens spend so much of their time at high school, in the presence of other teens, they are more susceptible to the pressure.

Peer Pressure starts when we are very young, but seems to really increase when we enter the sixth grade and continues to build as we move forward to the twelfth gradewhere the influence is at its highest. The bad part of the influence is that high risk health behavior, marijuana use, smoking cigarettes, alcohol and being sexual active are huge parts that can affect teens.

One of these bad habits is alcohol use.  Studies show that half of underage Americans have consumed alcohol and many of them are heavy drinkers. The effects are in the brain where it messes with the memories, speech, and movement. If addiction becomes a problem when  you are a teenager, imagine the damage it will do to a person when they are older.

Alcohol use becomes a serious problem as teens are being more and more addicted and this often leads to consuming drugs.

The most common drug used is Marijuana. One students said, “I saw it ruin my brother’s life.” Most people say it isn’t a big deal; that you can’t get addicted.

The problem is that you can get addicted with just one try, one hit; it can change your whole life.  All of this may have started because the person gave in to pressure by peers. Cocaine and even over the counter drugs, that are just to cure a cold or allergies, can become a issue.

Peer pressure also develops high risk behaviors such as being pressured into having sex or being pushed into something you just don’t want to do. Sexual peer pressure can lead to pregnancy, having an STD or HIV. Those are just a few things you don’t want to happen, just because there was a silly mistake and you gave in to the pressure.

There is always a positive side to peer pressure.  You can learn from the mistakes you have made and help other teens from not to making the same mistake.

Positive peer pressure can come when you surround yourself with friends that are high above the influence.  You might also get involved in volunteer groups.  Positive peer pressure may help you avoid being around the all the bad things that teens think that are so cool.

There are ways to stop this pressure and it’s by standing up and saying “no”. It is better to stand up to peer pressure no matter that it may cost you the loss of a friend.  It isn’t worth losing everything because you are trying to fit in. Life is so much more valuable than by trying to follow the trend and give in to things that will harm you.