Katherine is an 18 year-old from Tabor City, NC. She loves reading and writing and her favorite subject is Communications because she wants to work in the Journalism field.
It has recently (very recently) been publicized that one of the baseball greats, Mark McGwire, has come clean about steroid use. According to the news, his denial of using steroids has been going on for about 20 years. That’s quite a long time! According to sources, his “coming clean” was of his own free will; he admitted to using steroids to help further his baseball career. And that it did.
Mark McGwire slugged his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame, partly by hitting 70 home runs in 1998, breaking the previous record of 61. However, McGwire never felt good about his fame, because he knew it all resulted from his steroid use. When I read about his press conference, at first I was shocked. Not only was he guilty of using the substance, but he was also admitting to it and taking full responsibility for his actions. I’ve seen many athletes go through questioning and courtrooms denying any allegation of drug use during their careers. While McGwire did deny his substance use for 20 years, the fact alone that he came clean almost makes me forget his past. It takes a lot of guts to admit that you’re in the wrong, especially when everyone is watching. Even though McGwire lied, cheated, and betrayed many of his fans, I think that a lot can be taken from him admitting to using steroids. He was pressured to be the best baseball player out there. Even though he is not in high school anymore, it’s obvious that he is still subject to peer pressure!
As I continued to read about the press conference, I couldn’t help but think about how often I do things I know I shouldn’t do and lie about it, or do things because I know everyone else is doing it and I have to do it to be cool. I know it’s hard to rise above peer pressure, but you will feel so much better if you do! McGwire stated that when he left that press conference he felt like a new man. He knows what it’s like to fall into the pressure to be something great, just like we fall into pressure to be the coolest kid in school. You may think high school is everything and you have to be number one, but it won’t last forever. Mark McGwire actually ended his baseball career in 2001 because of multiple injuries, and it may have even had something to do with all of the rumors circulating. Either way, he probably felt like the Major Leagues was all he had in the world, but it wasn’t. Just like you may think your high school years are all you have, but they definitely aren’t! Don’t waste some of the best years of your life falling to negative peer pressure; you will regret it. There are many times in your life when you are going to feel pressured to drink, do drugs, or maybe even have sex. It’s important to know that you do not have to do anything you are not completely comfortable doing. If you are unsure of how you can rise above peer pressure, here are a few steps on how to say, “No!”
- Just say “no,” and give a reason why. Most of the time, your friends are going to pressure you to do something really stupid like skip class or lie to your parents about going to a party. If you can say no, you should. Tell them that getting suspended for skipping class is not worth the risk! They should understand.
- Come up with alternative ideas. People can usually be swayed from their original plans if your idea is better. If a friend wants you to go smoke weed with him, why don’t you suggest playing the latest Halo game on your brand new XBOX 360? That sounds like fun to me!
- Tell your friend you already have plans, and invite him or her to join. Inviting your friend to go along with you as you go to the library or shopping won’t make it seem like you’re trying to get out of doing something that makes you uncomfortable, but it still allows you to spend time with your friend by doing something productive.
- Explain to them that they shouldn’t expect you to do it just because they tell you to. “If you were my real friend, you wouldn’t force me to do that,” may sound like an old line, but it really works. If your friend wants to skip school and take over the mall, that’s fine and dandy, but that doesn’t mean you have to do the same!