Remember when you were first taught the concept of peer pressure back in elementary school? Your teachers educated you on the value of respecting yourself and others around you and to never force someone to do something that they do not want to do. As we get older, the lessons of peer pressure go on without much to say. We experience life and learn from our mistakes. We think that we carry our wits about us everywhere we go when we are with groups of people. We may think that we, as college students, do not fall into peer pressure, but it happens more times than we think.
As students from high school transition into college, times can be rough. They have to get used to their new environment and adapt to any changes that come their way. Someone who was not into the party scene in high school might wind up living on a floor that is wild and crazy, and they will have to adapt to their environment in order to fit in with everyone else.
Next thing they know their whole persona changes. They begin to think differently, dress differently, and act differently just to fit in with a group of people. It is crazy to think that a group of people can have such a massive influence on one person, but someone’s lifestyle can be changed drastically just by conforming and adopting to other people’s values and actions as they forget about their own.
However, peer pressure does not only relate to the party scene. Students can experience peer pressure when it comes to doing well in their classes. If everyone else is stressing out, you are bound to stress as well. Students may also experience peer pressure to lose weight or get in shape because their friends are into that lifestyle. There is a wide range of pressure that college students can face.
A perfect example of people always conforming to other’s actions can be seen in Mean Girls. I am not going to give a full blown synopsis of this movie because I am pretty sure, actually 100 percent sure, that this entire campus has seen it, or if they have not seen it, know about it.
In relating the movie to peer pressure, Lindsey Lohan’s character conforms to her new social group referred to as “The Plastics.” She acts like them, thinks like them, and dresses like them.
Lohan’s character fell under peer pressure in order to fit in, be popular, get the guy, and live happily ever after. However, falling under peer pressure probably will not lead you to your Prince Charming. There will probably be some other consequences.
Mean Girls, although it is one of my favorite movies and I can speak it fluently (come talk to me, we’ll have a quote party), it demonstrates that peer pressure does not solve everything. Just because we want to fit in and be cool does not mean we have to lose ourselves.
What is seen on screen is put into real life situations when it is actually taking place on the Monmouth campus. Everyone falls into peer pressure at some point, maybe even a few points, in their college careers.
For me, peer pressure is like a trend. Anytime there is a new trend that is going around campus, everyone has to abide by it. Whether it is printed leggings, glittered iPhone cases, or the new Harlem Shake (whatever the hell that is), people conform to what everyone else is doing and what everyone else is interested in.
When I was a freshman at Monmouth, the first thing on my list was to make new friends and to be involved. I wanted to find a group of friends that would accept me for all my strengths, weaknesses, flaws, and quirks- a lot of quirks. I did not want to be around people who would have wanted me to dress a certain way or act a certain way, just so that I could fit in with them.
I think now is the perfect time to say, “ain’t no body got time for that!”
And that’s just it.
Ain’t no body got time for that.
Nobody should have time to conform to other people’s wants and needs. We should be surrounding ourselves with people who are accepting us for what we have to offer. However, for some people, they succumb to the peer pressures in college.
In college it is all about finding your nitch; what you are good at, establishing a group of friends, and participating in activities and organizations you want to be a part of. College is not about seeking approval from others, it is about seeking approval from yourself. You are the only person that is standing in your way to be successful, so do not let anyone pressure you to do something that will dull your sparkle.