Peer pressure! Everybody talks about peer pressure. But what exactly is it we are talking about? Are friends those bad people we should avoid? Should we live in complete isolation? Is it possible never to make a mistake? Never to follow the wrong advice?
Of course not. So what is it? That was the question you were asked to think about and reflect on.
Friends are important in our lives. They often bring us warmth, but sometimes they cause us trouble. But the truth is: we need them. We need them, as much as they need us. They help us grow up and define who we are. They may sometimes be difficult to deal with, but then don't we sometimes also do the wrong thing?
Surely, we have to agree that sometimes people can have a bad influence on our lives. Some people force us to drink, abuse drugs or engage in sex before the time is right. But then, why do we follow them? Often those people are very influential. They are "cool", they are "in", and everybody envies them. So what makes them so special? What makes them so different? Why can't we resist the temptation to look like them, to behave like them?
There are no simple answers to these questions. Different people react differently in similar situations, but it is true that we all try to influence each another at times, and resisting this sort of pressure can be hard. Many of you said that you are afraid to lose a friend if you don't do what he or she says you should, so you may do things you don't really want to, or are not ready for. This means that you value yourself less than you value your friend - what your friend wants becomes more important than what you want. This is when peer pressure is a problem.
Whatever you decide, no matter who your friends are, you should always listen to yourself first. What are your values? What is important to you? What do you want to achieve in your life?