What you need to know:
- Peer pressure is when you do something because you want to feel accepted and valued by your friends.
- This influence can be spoken or unspoken, direct or indirect, positive or negative and more prevalent among the youth.
In both primary and secondary school, I learned about the peer pressure phenomenon.
Simply put, peer pressure is when you do something because you want to feel accepted and valued by your friends.
This influence can be spoken or unspoken, direct or indirect, positive or negative and, while it affects people of all ages, it’s more prevalent among the youth.
This is because young people are easily swayed and are more susceptible to behaviour changes.
Peer pressure is a reality in our universities. Interactions on campus bring about exchange of ideas and cultures.
Research shows lack of self-belief, low self-esteem and one's self mistrust makes people easily influenced by others. Some become assimilated into others’ lifestyles, including dressing code.
In this scenario, students from humble backgrounds tend to be influenced by their wealthier counterparts.
The easy example of negative peer influence on campus is the “mubaba”and “sponsor” phenomenon. Many female students have jumped onto this infamous bandwagon by merely copying what their friends do.
The other example is meaningless sexual relationships, clubbing, and drug abuse. Students feel left out and they adopt these risky behaviours just belong to a certain group. The good thing is that we can all protect ourselves from negative peer influence.
According to experts, the easiest way to achieve this goal is to try as much as possible to move away from pressure zones.
Any places or situations that tempt one to do anything untoward should be avoided. Young people should learn to say no.
Any practice that might interfere with one’s peace of mind should be resisted. Do not do things to please others. You don’t owe anyone an apology for choosing what is right for you.
Keeping one’s self busy also helps. Instead of idling, engage in a sport, or enrol in a music, dance or prayer group.
By avoiding negative pressure, you are saving your future and your life. Take control mate.
Wafula studies journalism and mass communication at Rongo University.
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