Everyone Else Is Doing It

By Arianna Calderón


Hooray! Going to a party with your friends. You're at the party with your peers everything is fine, but then someone dares you to do something life risking right in front of everybody at the party.What do you do? You do it anyway cause you don't want your peers to make fun of you on how big of wimp you were to not do it and you just want to fit in.Then a few hours later, you're at the hospital or possibly dead.Party over for you! All because of two peer pressure from your peers and you wanting to fit in.Peer pressure can negatively affect a teenager's judgment right away.Even when your in a bad group that parties every time and does legalized things.Peer pressure is everywhere,you can't stop it but, you can avoid negative peer pressure in many ways.

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According to Bonnie Miller Rubin and T. Shawn Taylor, when it comes to teenagers, virtually no behavior is too reckless or too destructive to be outside the realm of possibility."That is the disturbing message that school officials, experts, and friends say was tragically illustrated by the death from alcohol poisoning of a Orland Park Cheerleader, Elizabeth Wakulich." (Rubin and Taylor) "Surrounded by her peers, the 16 year old did something dangerous and it cost Wakulich her life." (Rubin and Taylor) She put her life on the line so she can fit in with her peers.Definitely not worth it. "There was just a kid who walked right in front of a semi truck and a straight A student, cheerful, beautiful girl, who OD'd on heroin" said Mary Pipher. It's hard to overestimate the importance of peer pressure because, peers are everything.

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According to Tara Parker Pope, author of "Teenagers Friends and Bad Decisions, good kids seem to make bad decisions when they are with their friends.When surrounded by friends they will do whatever just to fit in with their peers even if their life is on the line.The pressure gets to their heads and makes them do actions that they don't notice is dangerous."Teenager peer pressure has a distinct effect on brain signals involving risk and reward, helping to explain why young people are more likely to misbehave and take risks when their friends are watching."(Parker)"The presence of peers activated the reward circuitry in the brain.It activates because you people are more attentive and aware of what other people are thinking about them." (Parker) Social identity is more important than their personal identity which is being themselves.

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In the article, "Teenager Admit Drug Peer Pressure", teenagers forge a personal identity by first creating a social identity."Music tastes and appearance are the obvious ways to define oneself, but the ways in which young people talk about themselves to their peers also helps them to create a sense of self."(Dr.Marsh) Though sometimes you have to do dangerous decisions just to fit in with their peers. For example, in the movie mean girls, to fit in with her peers. Just to fit in she also had to change her behavior."Almost half of the youngsters questioned said the need to fit in with their peers dictated their friends behavior."(helpline FRANK) They create a whole different person instead of being themselves because they're scared that they won't be accepted.

Counter Claim

The phrase peer pressure is typically linked to risky behaviors but,peer pressure also shapes decisions about education(Cuddy and Reeves). Despite the fact that peer pressure is typically linked to risky behaviors it's also important to consider that peer pressure can be a powerful force sometimes a positive one.Hanging out with active peers may lead kids to exercise more,making a child's social network a potential vehicle for promoting healthy and reducing obesity.Rather than relying only on organized exercise programs or drowning kids in messages to get moving,perhaps a subtler approach,introducing sedentary kids to more active ones,might help kids get off the couch.That would mean seeding groups like after-school programs or community groups with children who like to exercise,so that emulating them,with others may become more active by association


Peers are everywhere. Each student must charge themselves with the responsibility of making the decision as to whether they will be a positive or negative influence on others.You have the choice who to surround yourself with.Try to choose someone positive.