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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Pushing Perimeters with Peer Pressure

Peer pressure often pushes people out of their comfort zone, leading to both exploration and potential risks. Understanding the difference between the two can help people navigate through social interactions.
Aline Gonzalez
Although people can use peer pressure for good or bad, they can cross boundaries. Freshman Anika Ranadive believes that good peer pressure can cross a line, and there’s a point where it can get too far. “Sometimes people don’t want to do something and your friends only want to support you,” Ranadive said. Even with good intentions, people should mind others and their space and boundaries.

When the club expo comes around, everyone is confronted with lots of choices. What club will you join? What are your friends doing after school? These choices all tend to depend on you and the company in which you are in at the time.  Occasionally,  people tend to force others into doing things that aren’t what the person wants, and that is called peer pressure. Peer pressure can present itself in small ways, like which club to join, or larger ways with stronger consequences. Whether they are the victim, bystander, or the instigator, people need to understand the risks and consequences of the actions they take towards the subject.

Peer Pressure: Direct vs Indirect

Peer pressure is when others of the same social group influence a person to do something that they might not normally do or are against.  People have started to become more aware throughout the years of peer pressure and its “boundaries,” but not many can tell the different kinds of peer pressure. 

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There are two kinds of peer pressure: Direct and Indirect

Direct peer pressure is the most recognizable type. This kind of pressure is generally verbal or nonverbal cues where the victim must decide “on the spot” to follow through or not. For example, in negative peer pressure, a person or group might push you into vandalizing a building, waiting for your decision. Are you going to agree to go through with the activity? Or are you going to leave? The answer is all up to you and waited for at the moment.

In indirect peer pressure, however, there isn’t a person or group influencing you, instead the surrounding environment influences your choices. An example of this would be being at a party where everyone is drinking, therefore you might be unintentionally pushed to do the same; this is also called conformity. 

The Boundaries

Peer pressure, like all things in the world, has boundaries. How the pressured person feels afterward can demonstrate the differences between unhealthy and healthy peer pressure. Senior Christina Wilson has found that a line can be drawn between good and bad peer pressure. “Every year of my life I’ve been pushed to do certain things,” Wilson said. “I’ve been pushed to get a job because I was too scared, and now I work where I work.”

Peer pressure doesn’t always make a person a victim. Often, people witness peer pressure happening to others or unintentionally feed into it. Junior Royce Salas has witnessed many occasions where his friends have been pushed into doing things they normally wouldn’t do. “I’ve seen situations where someone is being forced to smoke or anything like that,” Salas said. The situation involved his friend being urged into smoking on a Wednesday afternoon. “We were walking around and my friend’s friend said ‘Look what I got,’ and my friend didn’t like doing anything he could get in trouble for, and so he said ‘That’s cool, what about it?’ and so the guy said ‘You trying to smoke it?’” In the end, the friend struggled to say no and gave in to peer pressure. Salas, however, was able to walk away. 

Many incidents like this happen everyday as people give into peer pressure. The important thing is people can still be witnesses to situations that are both good and bad not just to themselves, but also to friends and people around them. While Salas’ friend gave in to peer pressure, there are still things that can be done to stop others from doing this in the future.

Resisting Peer Pressure

Victims of the act can often be pushed too far which can lead to negative effects, such as a decrease in self-confidence, where people start to compare themselves to others. Peer pressure can also negatively affect a person’s academic career. An example is when an instigator pressures a victim into negative acts such as  substances, the victim’s performance will decrease and may get held back.

They can also distance themselves from friends and family, as well as have an increase in depression or anxiety. 

There are many things victims of pressure can do to avoid having such negative effects. For example, while it may be hard, a person can ask their friend to give them time and/or space to decide for themselves whether they want to participate in the activity or not. This gives the victim an easier way to think it through completely and say no regarding the circumstances. 

Another way to avoid being pressured is to consider reasons as to why you shouldn’t join and should start to set boundaries. If you have a hard time saying no, you can always offer an alternative choice to the situation.  For example, a friend could offer to smoke after school, but instead you could offer to do something like going to the movies.

Peer pressure is a powerful force able to change our pathway through life. It influences our decisions and behaviors, and it’s important to understand that while it isn’t always negative and can be positive, we shouldn’t ignore the potential risks.

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About the Contributors
Dayanna Anton
Dayanna Anton, Staff Writer
Dayanna is a sophomore in her first year on staff. In her free time, Dayanna watches videos on YouTube and plays video games. She is very open to playing all types of video games, such as Roblox with her friends. Dayanna is hoping to re-join Key Club again this year. Dayanna is also part of a program called Campus, where she gets to know more about College and all the necessary steps for getting into it once she graduates high school.
Aline Gonzalez
Aline Gonzalez, Staff Writer
Aline is a junior at Rock Ridge High School and this is her second year on staff. Aline joined newspaper because she has a deep passion for journalism and plans to pursue a career in this field. Aline also has an interest in the law field and would also like to become a lawyer. Aline has many hobbies ranging from reading, drawing, painting, to playing video games with her friends and family. She likes to play football in her free time with her friends. Aline looks forward to making lots of new friends this year.

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