Alexis J. Oregon

Dear future president

Peer Pressure and how it influences us.

Dear Future President,  Peer Pressure 

    How do you feel when you hear the national anthem and you see people honoring the flag of the United States? Feeling’s such as pride and an ambitious amount of joy can immediately surround your soul. Interestingly enough, how do you feel when people respect this nation without standing during the national anthem? Not standing during the anthem can in many cases be ignored or can cause social differences. I put this matter into perspective when my psychology teacher made our class break a social norm. I was quickly impelled by one of my closest friends to stand during the pledge of allegiance, and then quickly told by another classmate to go back to my country.

Dear future president of the most powerful country in the world, peer pressure guides our society to be controlled under one single mindset. Although peer pressure doesn't affect our world on a massive scale, it can help us control major problems such as immigration, racism, and even larger problems. So let's start by analyzing the effect peer pressure has on our schools, our teachers, our friends and our values.

Peer pressure is defined as “the influence one individual can have to change their personal values and follow others”(Peer pressure ). Peer pressure affects us all and can make us succumb to behaviors we would not choose to follow on our own. I go to a school where pride is rewarded and being humble is looked down upon. A month ago, I was informed that at a sporting-event, a person started bashing on a team my school was playing against, and soon enough more people started doing the same. People who we are supposed to look up to don’t always exemplify true honesty and leadership. Peers have a major influence on our social roles, and that is why our schools make such a detrimental impact in who we are as individuals. This influence is powerful, but our teachers’ influence on us can be even more powerful.

Our teachers are the backbone of this country. This power can be used positively or can also ruin the students who attend their daily classes. First, let's think about all the good our teachers do. An example of this is that “teachers have started instituting programs for younger students, if students have a fundamental understanding of how to deal with peer pressure they will be able to cope with the challenge”(Teachers and Student Team up against peer pressure). Teachers can make it so we stand out as our own selves by combating peer pressure. Yet, although teachers have this amazing impact on our youth, teachers can also make their students feel not as special when their students choose to not get a higher education. 

Now you may be thinking, how do our teachers cause pressure to our youth? Sure they can give you multiple lessons and an array of homework that can make you want to burst from pressure, but the pressure that I am talking about is the idea of not conforming to the idea of getting a higher education. I experienced this firsthand when I told my favorite teacher, “I am not going to college.” The amount of discontent that my teachers reflect when I inform them of this decision makes me feel guilty for my decisions about my future. My teachers have told me, “You are smart, I had higher expectations for you.” Now tell me this, is this not what constitutes peer pressure? Funny how our teachers talk about finding our path and that in the constitution of the United States of America we are liberated and that because of our equality we all hold similar values. These role models are influential and without them, our youth would have no real preparation for the real world, but they don't decide our futures. As influential as these people are, our friends make or break us.

“Not everything that shines is gold.” Simply put, our friendships can lead us to a paradise of success, or ruin our path to greatness. Brett Laursen, professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University, analyzed our youth and the effect that our friendships can have when faced with peer pressure. Professor Laursen claims,“They want to protect the friendships that they have, and so they are more likely to do what their friends say because they are worried about losing their friendships” ( The good and bad of peer pressure). As teenagers, we are more susceptible to making unwise decisions due to the influence our friendships have over ourselves. Whether we are more mature or barely beginning learning process, we are all affected by social pressures. Yet, in the end, it's our responsibility to stand up for our own values.

In the end our schools,our teachers, our teachers, our friendships and values can influence us in a multitude of ways.Values that involve religious, moral, ethnic or political affairs are affected by peer pressure. In your new job of being the president, will you be susceptible to change your moral, mental thoughts due to peer pressure? The truth is, authority figures such as yourself should cause us to be more thoughtful and to at all costs,resist peer pressure.