I am standing here today to fight for our independence and liberty of freedom to decide. I am here to raise an awareness about an issue that is faced by a lot of kids, teenagers and young adults worldwide. Would you do something that you do not want to do, like smoking, drinking alcohol or even dealing or taking drugs in order to “fit in?” If your answer to my question is yes, let me tell you that you are defying yourself as a person, because you are not staying true to yourself. You are making others have an advantage over you so that they can treat you like a puppet, by making you do things that can hurt, harm and harass your body.
Youths today are confronted with numerous tensions that can have an immense impact on the decisions that he or she makes. I am a fifteen-year-old high school student, so this proves that I witness or even encounter peer pressure most of the time within my high school years. Most peer pressure starts because a group of people tell you that if you don’t do something, like deal drugs, or smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, you are not part of their group. They usually tell you that there is no reason to not do it because nothing bad is going to happen. In numerous occasions, the group tells you that if you drink alcohol or smoke drugs you will step right into a phase of “happiness” and you will live a better life. But is any of this even true? Will you live a better life, unaware of what you are really doing?
A lot of kids are scared and frightened that if they don’t do what others ask of them, they will be left alone for all eternity, without any friends. Victims also believe that they will be defined as a goody-two shoes and that their social status will collapse and sink – if they don’t do what their friends apprise them to do. Therefore, they agree to accept the offer. They do this, because they don’t want to be the only one from their friends who don’t drink, smoke or take drugs. Due to this, they become someone that they are not, mainly to keep having their friends. But the real question is, is it really worth it? Are these hypocrites really your true friends?
Eighteen-year-old youth Alison Lay said, “I started doing drugs when I was fifteen. All my friends were into it and I honestly felt it was ok to do the stuff with them. I now know that I shouldn’t have done, and it has taken me over a year to get back to where I’m at today. I’ve got drugs out of my body. I still don’t feel good about it and some days can be better than others... but I’m looking forwards, not backwards.”
Remember that smoking cigarettes, dealing or taking drugs and drinking alcohol is mutilating both the mind and the body. According to the national study, more than one thousand four hundred college students die each year in alcohol-related deaths due to peer pressure. Furthermore, two thirds of high school teens have tried smoking or alcohol according to the national study. Most teenagers are “on the horns of a dilemma,” when they encounter peer pressure, they have no clue on what is right and what is wrong to do; because they are being deceived by their friends. Once you begin these bad habits you believe that everything is going to be the same. But is it really going to be the same? Are you going to be the same person who you were before? After this step it is nearly impossible for you to turn back, your old personality and character gets lost behind in traffic and you always wake up on the wrong side of the bed. You start smoking, then drinking, then drugs and then you even forget that all of this started because of peer pressure. You can end up in hospital with lung cancer, hepatitis or cardiovascular disease. You finally realise that all of this happened because you were not able to say “NO!”
It’s not like the world is ending, if you are aware of what you are doing, you can find your true self who was lost behind in traffic, and you can leave the part of you who is a puppet to others behind. If you know someone else who is a victim of peer pressure like a friend or a sibling give them a helping hand, because in all cases peer pressure can take away someone’s life. Remember to always stay true to yourself under any circumstances. Learn to say “no” and always make the right choice. All I am saying is, try to overcome peer pressure, “don’t change so people will like you, be yourself and the right people will love you.” Thank you for listening, I hope that you understand the effects that peer pressure can have on someone’s life. Once again, I will like to thank you all for your time.
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