Have you ever worried about what others think of you? What if a classmate thinks you’re boring, or that you suck up to teachers too much? Even though these questions are constantly running through the brains of teens, chances are, your peers are probably not talking about you behind your back. So, why are most teens so obsessed with fitting in?
You're probably experiencing what is known as peer pressure, a common reality for all high school students. Concordia is no exception - according to a survey we conducted of the high school student body, 95% of respondents said that they had experienced peer pressure at some point before. If you’re a new student here, peer pressure can seem even more daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Perhaps this article will give you some insight on dealing with peer pressure, especially through the eyes of a Concordia student.
Making decisions on your own is hard enough, but when other people try to pressure you one way or another, it can be even harder. These decisions could be simple: in my case, I wanted to eat a healthy lunch earlier this week, but gave in and ordered fried chicken because my friends were doing it too. But there could be bigger issues involved, too - such as lying to your parents, drinking, or skipping school.
It’s hard to say no to negative peer pressure - trust me, I know. But you don’t have to twist yourself into a human pretzel just to please everyone! If you try to transform yourself into a clone of everyone else, it won't help you make real friends. It'll just make you feel like a fake. Instead, you should strive to stay true to yourself and “belong”, rather than be the same as everyone else.
Branch out! At Concordia, there are so many sports and clubs to match everyone’s diverse hobbies - whether you play volleyball or table tennis, or if you’re into debate, theatre or technology. It might be uncomfortable to put yourself out there and participate, but you will meet lots of people this way! Additionally, Concordia is a small school, so it’s not hard to acquaint yourself with new friends.
In the end, though, remember that high school is only 4 years of your life, and fitting in won’t matter as much the moment you graduate. Rather than making yourself a clone of everybody else, it’s more important to prioritize your happiness by being who you truly are.