An Experience Or An Excuse

There are many experiences from birth to a teenager that a person will go through that will build themselves as they will get older. These experiences are a guidance to a variety of roads that will give a certain path and it’s up to that individual to make the decision that’s best for them and their future. One of the trials that the youth are impacted by regularly is, “peer pressure”. Peer pressure is the influence from members of one’s peer group, usually the influence being negative. This is claimed to happen to many teenagers as they become accessible to more freedom from their parents and they begin to crave a larger desire to be around their peers. Teenagers are curious and sometimes this curiosity leads to them trying negative actions such as; smoking, drinking, and even having sex when not ready with their peers of course as they decide to go through these experiences together. For teenagers that have a more positive mindset, doing such things are often claimed to have happened because of peer pressure since people who are associated with them expect them to not fall for these types of mistakes. However, this brings the counterargument that peer pressure is just an excuse for a teenager to make a mistake and receive sympathy for their wrong choices. Which brings up the question, is peer pressure a real thing or can it be resisted and labeled as an excuse? The answer to this question is it can be resisted and mistakes by one should be owned up too.

It is true that most teens or a person at any age desires to be accepted. For teens, this pressure comes into play a lot throughout the school year. It’s important for teens to be accepted into a group that likes them for themselves. Without this happening, one can become depressed and feel abandoned in school as they feel like they are not wanted by the ‘cool kids’ or feel as they aren’t good enough to be involved in a group of entertaining friends. This is where teens tend to do whatever they possibly can to fill that emptiness inside from not feeling wanted by their peers which leads to decisions being made without thought. This is where the pressure supposedly lives, the decision making of the teen. However, the youth at some point in their young lifetime are educated on the difference of being a follower and a leader. Also, how doing drugs and other negative actions similar are bad and can lead down a path of destruction. It’s up to that person the teenager to listen and understand how doing things like drugs, drinking, and even dares that can put their life at risk, is something they should work to stay away from. Putting the blame of their actions on another is weak and in reality can be a downfall because if they continue to make mistakes at a higher scale, judges in courtrooms will not take in “peer pressure” being an excuse for committing a crime. Parents stressed this a lot to their children, how it’s easy to mess up or slip up. As long as the parent is pressuring this on their teen, the peers shouldn’t be an issue or at least not enough to not receive necessary consequences for one’s negative actions. Living and learning does not involve making excuses and allowing a teenager to rely on the fact that another teen making the same mistake makes their actions less unacceptable. In a CNN survey, it stated that 17% of high schoolers are caught drinking, smoking, during the school day with peers. Also, in another CNN survey, 75% of high schoolers say that they are encouraged to party with marijuana or alcohol when they see images of their peers doing so. Reflecting upon the second survey of the two, it can be reasonably assumed that the high schoolers will not be surprised to see smokes and drinks at the party. In fact, in most scenarios it’s highly spoken about before going to the party, “who’s bringing what and who’s doing what?” Essentially, this makes it the teenager fault of being aware of their surroundings and allowing themselves to be persuaded into doing something illegal or something their not suppose to be doing.

When it comes to the idea of peer pressure it’s mostly looked upon as all negative but that’s not always true. There is a such thing as positive peer pressure. This is a peer that will help one do something they should be doing. Encouraging one to do right and keep up the good work. For example, positive peer pressure can consists of consistent completion of homework, exercising, and more. In a teen’s perspective there is a better chance of getting this type of encouragement from parents or guardians. Parenting can definitely impact a teenager’s decision making when it comes to situations involving themselves and their peers. The parents must be the people they want their children to become which will display how the teenagers should behave in a way that is in their best interest. In reality, teenager don’t want to take responsibility for things they do which is why they blame the people nearest to them which is their peers. If one tell their peer to jump off a bridge, most teens have an absolute NO in this case. So when one tell a peer to smoke with them, the teen will either not smoke or smoke based on what values and lines they have set in their mind, not on what their friends are telling them is “cool” or not.

If teenagers stop to think about it, they would realize that peer pressure is an excuse for them to make mistakes and they it’s important to be a leader by understanding they are in control of their actions and making the best choices for their future. However, if one does decide to be a follower and make negative choices, be prepared to own up and face the consequences instead of placing the blame on a peer.

Throughout the year, I have wrote many 2Fers that touched on many different topics. However, out of all I strongly believe this 2Fer was the best. Because I touched on a topic that impacts almost every human person at some point in their life whether as a teen or even as an adult, I felt this 2Fer was way more powerful than the others. With this being said, also in this 2Fer I was able to correct many of my mistakes I made in previous 2Fers to make this written wise a lot improved! In conclusion, I can say my ups and downs in my previous 2Fers contributed to this 2Fer in my opinion being my strongest of all.

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