Don’t give in to peer pressure

Nick Sestanovich
Nick Sestanovich

I tend to associate peer pressure with high school, but it actually gets worse at the college level.

I’ve already outed myself as not much of a partier, and I think part of that could be that at the few parties I’ve been to, there’s always a certain expectation of what you should be doing. Among the things I‘ve heard are “You can’t just have one can of beer, you need to play drinking games” and “You’ve never tried weed? You need to try weed.”

My outlook on these notions has been the same since I was a child: Just because everybody else is doing it doesn’t mean you should too. I have my own reasons for not drinking too much or smoking marijuana. It’s not because I’m a moral agent but rather because I don’t think such activities are mandatory for a good time. If that makes me less of a person, so be it.

I get the feeling college students are into these activities because they like taking risks, and that’s fine. Taking risks is what makes life interesting. However, I’m not sure the violent hangovers, vomiting and difficulty of focusing in class is worth the risk, which is why I choose to opt out of it.

Students, if somebody’s trying to involve you in an activity you don’t want to take part in, it doesn’t hurt to say “Sorry, I’d rather not do it.” You should never feel forced to do something you don’t want to do. If you do want to take risks at a party, that’s your decision. Just leave me out of it.


Nick Sestanovich can be reached at [email protected].