The issue of peer pressure is getting important these days as every person in this world feels the need to be accepted and does almost anything to feel the warmth of belongingness. But this feeling of being accepted takes individuals on a road where they often forget their own individuality.
This individuality is in fact their uniqueness, which makes them different from the rest of the world. However, the desperate need for acceptance builds a fear of being rejected and that fear overcomes all natural instincts of individualism.
Peer pressure in school students is often very prominent. It has often been stereotyped that the age of adolescence is the prime time where students can be seen changing their behavior, attitudes and beliefs to feel accepted in a particular group or circle.
But in fact, a 2013 study by researchers from the University of Maryland have discovered that children as young as nine years old also seem to understand the group dynamics and the costs involved in resisting to the peer group pressure.
This is where the role of adults comes in, the people that surround the everyday life of the children. It is often difficult to ‘do the right thing’ and that goes for adults as well. But it is in the support system; the people that bring us together, that love us, care for us and inspire for us to do good. The significance of such people in our lives can never be taken for granted.
The ball game of peer pressure that often comes in a negative light can be turned around to have a positive impact on students and their peers. The good and competitive vibes that peers carry from their academic and extra curricular activities can motivate other students to take up challenges that they would otherwise never consider. These new challenges could help students discover new capabilities and hence, create a positive and vibrant impact on their personality.
To conclude, we might think peer pressure affects kids more than adults, however, there is no denying that it is one societal factor that is inherent in our social and private lives that can’t be ignored.
Pragya Kapil has graduated from the Teach for India’s fellowship after her Bachelor in Commerce , and is currently, pursuing Post Graduate studies in International Community Development at Victoria University, Melbourne.