By Melisa, age 14, Belgium
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
The main reason is because we're insecure with ourselves. Maybe, if we do something that our friends are doing, we'll get their respect, right? Wrong. Honestly, the only thing you actually need is self-respect. Smoking, drinking, etc., doesn't make you look any cooler, just stupid and desperate for some attention. Not everyone is affected by peer pressure, and sometimes people just want to try something they're not supposed to for the adrenaline rush.
My experiences with peer pressure haven't been that great. I'll share a quick story. One time, at a shop, there was a candy buffet where you took a small bag and filled it up with candy. I was with a friend and she told me to eat some. This friend was in the popular crowd so, being too insecure, I did it. Not a big deal, right? Nope, it wasn't. But that's only the beginning. Every teen starts off their experience with peer pressure with something minor.
Here's another story. At a birthday party, my whole class got together and we were just chilling at the girl's house. The next thing I know, alcohol. I didn't know what to do, as I had never drunk alcohol before. My friend had offered me some and I didn't know what to say. For a split second, I followed my morals, but then I started thinking about what it could do for my image. People would maybe like me more or I could gain respect from the popular kids. So I drank some of the alcohol. I didn't get drunk or even tipsy, but for that second I felt like such a rebel.
No matter how old you are, peer pressure is always there. The best way to avoid it is to be confident. From the words of my good friend: "Just smile and be confident." Because starting out just eating some candy illegally can lead to things a lot worse with more consequences. Never be insecure about yourself. Follow your morals and you'll gain respect from the people who are actually worth it :)