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Let Individuality Rise Over Peer Pressure

Letter to the editor from Nicole Ellison as a journalism class assignment.

Peer pressure has rapidly increased in society. Not many people can think on their own anymore or be expressive without feeling judged. Everyone is trying to fit in and it is causing a lot of problems. People listen to certain music, dress a certain way, and even act a certain way. Conformity is spreading like a disease, when in reality it should be individualism.

Peer pressure is mostly seen in schools. If you do not wear certain clothes, do certain things, and so on, you are considered "uncool". In reality though, some of those "uncool" kids will be a figure in history. Our presidents, leaders, singers, scientists, etc. had to start off somewhere. I can guarantee not all of them were in the "cool" crowd so to speak.

The effects that peer pressure has varies. For instance, it makes people lose creativity and who they are as individuals. Trying to do whatever is considered "cool" means doing something that does not represent you as a person. Trying to constantly be accepted not only is difficult but unnecessary as well. Why pretend to be someone you're not? If people could just stop for a second and accept who they are, they would not worry so much about what other people think of them.

Trying to impress people in school is completely a waste of time. Eventually life will move on and the people you worked so hard to impress will be people you rarely, if ever, see again. People worry so much about how they look and act that they lose apart of themselves. If people do not bother to try and fit in they get made fun of. Whether it be secretly or overtly. This is where I consider society to be very flawed. If someone wants to actually be an individual they should be looked up to not frowned upon. It makes people feel embarrassed easily because any little thing can make someone feel like an outcast.

 Another way of peer pressure is the physical kind. People are forced to do things they do not want to all the time. If someone does not want to do something they get bullied or threatened. Physical peer pressure is awful but I feel that emotional or mental peer pressure is just as bad. Both can damage people for the rest of their lives. Whether it be because they are more codependent now and cannot think on their own or becoming more aloof. It could also make people become addicted to drugs or alcohol and ruin their life depending on what type of pressure they had to go through.

People should be more accepting of the individuals and peer pressure should become something that is unheard of. Even though it is nearly impossible for that to happen, if people realize what it is doing then they can make a change. Every word or action can damage someone to the point of never going back. Before making that mistake, people should think before speaking and keep in mind that they do not want to have regrets in the future.

Riv March 25, 2012 at 11:23 AM
This is a wonderful article! I hope it spreads! Too many people lose themselves to peer pressure and forget who they really are. Thank you for writing this.

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