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A young woman with purple hair is standing outside in a grey coat. She is offering you a joint. The text reads,

It’s Who You Know

peer pressure Aug 30, 2022

This post was written by a senior at CSUCI.

I think when I was younger, and I was given drug education in elementary school and middle school, I already anticipated a man dressed in all black with a trench coat on trying to force drugs upon me. Obviously now, as someone in their senior year in college, I know that not only is that not the case, but far from it. In every instance I have been offered drugs, it has always been by a peer and always someone I knew, if not very close to me.

Peer pressure is a serious issue among high school and college students. It is much more difficult to turn down someone who thinks they are being “nice” by sharing; they might even go as far as insisting, thinking you are just trying to be polite. It can put you in an awkward and tough position for those who are more shy or who don’t want to come off as rude.

As someone who considers herself to be shy and has also been in this uncomfortable position more than one time, I personally choose to respond kindly but firmly that I’m not interested. When I was younger and gave off a less confident “vibe” in my responses, people picked up on that and thought that left me open to persuasion. And whenever I feel like people aren’t respecting my answers or I begin to feel uncomfortable for any reason, I excuse myself and go home or go spend time with my close friends. 

I can confidently say that if a friend is pressuring you or making you feel uncomfortable in any way, especially when you give them a clear indication that you are uninterested, they are not your friend. Real friends listen and will respect and support your decisions.