You Are Who You Are

Maria is a 15 year old from England. She watches lots of tv and dreams of world peace and for everyone to have happiness and lotsa lotsa lotsa lurrvee…Alice in Wonderland: White Rabbit - No Time to Say Hello, Goodbye... by Brandon Christopher Warren.

Time flies. One minute we’re in diapers, the only worry on our list is food, the next minute we’re all grown up and wanting to do things our own way. Our views of ourselves begin to change and we stress over what other people think of us.

Starting new schools and stepping out into a different setting or atmosphere is hard enough without having the concerns of being popular. In high school peer pressure is mostly determined by the populars. Basically if you’re not part of the “in” group, you’re rated as unpopular which specifies what we don’t want to be. By the time we’re in high school our friendships influence us in many ways, from the way we dress, the music we listen to, whether we study or not to drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

As we enter our teens we begin to change not only physically but emotionally too, our lives may takes different paths, for example, you were once the quiet studious girl at your last school, however at high school, you may begin to change, instead of being that polite quiet girl you used to be, you’re suddenly the loud obnoxious one, always trying to get noticed. You begin to act in ways that you wouldn’t normally prefer to do with only the reason to fit in.  They begin to question every flaw about their selves and begin to copy what their peers take an interest in. They become so caught up in what their friends expect from them, they never get the chance to discover for their selves what honest, genuine friendships are. Many teens get caught up in this ongoing cycle of peer acceptance, which can affect them in harsh ways resulting in unsatisfactory and unexpected behavior.

Not all peer pressure is negative, positive peer pressure directs people towards the right path. For example, a person in your class starts a fundraising appeal for the poor. You may get interested in it and try to help out or organize one yourself.

“Hey did you watch the X Factor last night? Didn’t Cheryl Cole look stunning? Oh my God, Joe Mcelderry is so this year’s winner! Don’t you think?” the popular in your class says to you.

“Oh my God like totally, Joe is so going to win it this year” you reply with enthusiasm even though you have no clue what the latest is on X Factor and couldn’t care less who won. You and the person carry on the conversation. This is an example of how peer pressure can be caused.

As you befriend that person you begin to realize you have nothing in common with them. There’ll always be something lacking in your friendship. When we pretend to take on someone else’s perspective, we hide ourselves away from others. When we go along with what others say, a part of us goes unnoticed and everyone including ourselves begin to forget the real you. We’ll keep on continuing with it to such an extent we won’t know how to stop. This could change us, and our perspectives of what we strongly believe in.

Stand up to what you believe in, there’s no point in changing yourself for others. Think about it like this, would they do the same for you? Will they stand by you when you really need them? Wouldn’t you rather be yourself than that fake person you claim to be? Trying to be like someone else just to get them to like you isn’t cool, in fact you’ll never truly be comfortable around that person.

The qualities that make you who you are, the little diminutive things that make up you are what you should be proud of and those qualities are what people should like about you. Your friends should accept you for who you are and not what they want you to be like. If they don’t like it, they’re not true friends and my advice would be to walk away and find people that love you for who you are.

The smallest incidents caused by peer pressure can lead you to disasters that can ruin your life. Inner belief in yourself and confidence is what gives you the strength to stand firm in what you think is right. Saying no to a something you think is unsuitable is showing you aren’t afraid to do the right thing and who knows, maybe your actions will benefit you and others in the future…don’t be afraid of what you believe in, cause one day you’ll be thankful for walking away. Always remember you’re special, nobody can take that away from you…you are who you are…nobody can change that…

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  1. 3-12-2010: Articles for Parents This Week | Radical Parenting - March 18, 2010

    […] You Are Who You Are The high school years can be rough as peer pressure abounds, but the most important thing to remember during these times is to embrace your individuality. […]

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