Students experience peer pressure

A student opens up their Snapchat on a typical Friday night and sees their peers out drinking and partying. Sometimes students may feel pressured to “join the crowd” and do risky things they see their peers doing.

“Peer pressure is allowing yourself to be influenced by the pressure of your peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or conform in order to be accepted,” counselor Suellyn Stenger said.

Peer pressure takes different forms. The most common pressure students face is the pressure to experiment with drugs and drinking.

“Most students feel pressured to drink alcohol or use drugs,” freshman Mylah Potter said.

However, some students also feel pressure to wear certain kinds of clothes or pressure to get better grades.

“I feel like there’s some peer pressure to get better grades, straight As, because a lot of freshmen and a lot of my friends get straight As,” freshman McKena McBride. “I feel like I’m being judged if my grade is lower than an A-.”

While peer pressure normally has a negative connotation, peer pressure can sometimes be positive.

“You can be positively influenced by peers who are doing well in school and are active in co-curricular and extracurricular activities,” Stenger said. “Peers who share their talents within their community and church.”

According to Stenger, the best way to prevent negative peer pressure is to surround yourself with positive people who are good role models.

“Remember, you are in control of yourself,” Stenger said. “Be true to yourself. If you are being influenced in a negative way, and aren’t sure how to handle it, speak to an adult you trust. They can help you strategize ways to combat negative peer