The Mental Health Impact of Peer Pressure Among Adolescents

From a 5-year old carefree child to turning into an adult with tons of responsibilities, one thing that all of us carried along at some point in life was “peer pressure”.

Responding to peer pressure is a part of human nature, but it varies from person to person. For instance, ever went out with friends and neglected something that you like just for the sake of your friendship? That is peer pressure. The desire to “fit in” and compromise on your own choices. In this world, where all different types of people exist, it often becomes difficult to find the right place for yourself. That is where it all begins. Another possibility is when the misguided ideal gets into your mind that everyone is doing it, so why should I not go for it.

My Personal Story:

So, let me tell you something from my personal experience. Till grade 10, I was always the star kid in my class, be it socially or academically. Everyone’s favourite, from teachers to admin staff to seniors to my classmates. Things took a turn when I changed to a fully boarding school in a totally different state and like any other kid, I decided to take medical and started preparing for NEET exam. I was very confident that I can do anything.

But within a small time, I realised that this is not how the world works on a competitive side. I felt that I was nothing as compared to these kids. No one wants to be your friend unless they want something from you. Everyone was running crazy just to get into some well- reputed medical college. I started having thoughts that I don’t belong here, what am I doing, why was I wasting my parent’s money.

With time, I started to change myself into a person that I wasn’t. I adopted other people’s learning techniques, staying up all night, studying as if my world will end if I didn’t. All this had a deep effect on me. Lost that person in me who was always smiling and ready to take chances just because societal expectations were now deciding my worth and fate. Soon, my parents noticed these changes and decided to talk to me. Till date that one thing that my father told me that day has been my survival kit in this world. After listening to everything I had to say, he just told me one simple thing.

That was, “You have never been nor would ever be defined by what others are doing in their lives. You’ll be defined by what you choose to do with your own heart without any conditioning. Choose to enjoy this life and do things the way that makes you happy and not curb you”.

There’s always a positive and negative side to every aspect. Now, you can take this both sides. I could have gone the same way forcing myself to work hard but I chose to take my father’s advice and look on the bright side. I started it all afresh and decided to do it the way I always did. I lost control sometimes. I went back to the same tantrums but I in my heart, I knew that I will not give up.

Every morning, I woke up to see the same faces of people who were trying so hard to get the spot. i would again and again ask myself to be assertive, focus on the good side. Ignore everything that’s around you. Play with your life in the way that you want, not with the manipulated ways of other people. Everything lies in the simple ways of life. As said, you learn from your surroundings and there’s tons of good and bad stuff there.

Choose wisely. Don’t let people abuse your view point. Trust, but don’t be deceived. Be content, but never stop improving yourself.   

One thing that’s going to remain with us all throughout our lifetime is our own unique individuality. In order to shine and make a mark according to our expectations rather than other’s so-called expectations, we got to always try to showcase our own self. Being true to ourselves at every phase of life but never going hard on ourselves. We all got this amazing side. So, keep amazing yourself with your uniqueness.    

Written by:
Jashandeep Kaur Dhillon 

This is Jashandeep Kaur Dhillon. I am a 3rd-year business majors student from Chandigarh. I look forward to helping people and bring a change in this world through writing.

The Mental Health Impact of Peer Pressure Among Adolescents

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