By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The life of a female student is like a journey which reflects the influence of the environment and guardians and this is a part of a girl child’s life that is to be invested or built on to improve her perception of life.
As an undergraduate, a female student already has an image in mind, tries to observe different peer groups with a view of which will help her be the kind of person she always dreamed of.
The pressure from friends which can be positive or negative helps facilitate the desired self-image a female student seeks to build.
At this point, achieving result is the major aim despite the background and culture of the individual. This is because she spends most of her time with her chosen peer, so what she hears constantly informs her.
At some point in our lives we have all struggled to make some certain decisions and often find ourselves falling back to friends; our peers.
Though not necessarily a bad thing as we are all influenced by our peers at some point in time, be it negatively or positively, but it is worthy to note that every wannabe guru has a bag of tricks they are eager to sell to you.
What then is peer pressure?
You were indoors trying to fulfill obligations and what is demanded of you, then your friends stepped in, one of them applauds you, and another says “nice, but you can always do this some other time when we are away,” dismissively.
Inwardly, you know that is what you want to do at that time, but outwardly, not wanting to go into an argument, you go along with the crowd.
You have just experienced what peer pressure is, although some persons may refer to it as peer influence or social influence where you have to acquire/accept a particular type of behavior or attitude in order to fit in a social group or among your peers.
Peer pressure is a feeling based on emotions, intuition or indefinite grounds that you must adopt or do certain things as other persons of the same age or social group in order to be accepted and respected by them.
It can be an influence or “pressure” for you to get into doing something.
Peer pressure can be positively captured in some cases where you are encouraged on a particular course you had no courage to.
Or, doing something you had never wanted to and it turns out good. You may learn something new, have new experiences, avoid getting into trouble and so on.
On the other hand, negative peer pressure which confers a wrong and selfish motive can be very disastrous, it can lead to doing things outrightly, making wrong choices that may affect your future and so on.
When we look at females generally, they become self-conscious and socially conserving at around puberty, and have enough to vie with as they negotiate their moves to senior school and tertiary institution where they feel more pressure to fit in, in order to adapt and build a new social group or friends.
This often makes the female students fall victims of the later, that is; the negative peer pressure which can be due to the following:
The desire to ‘fit in’
Low self-esteem amongst others.
And, as a result, they become victims of circumstances. The effects of peer pressure commonly experienced by the female undergraduates can be dilapidating.
As they are longing for some sense of belonging, the negative consequences may arise. If they engage in some activities like drugs use or skipping school, it can have negative effect on their academics, their grades might slip, and some even become school drop outs.
Some may go into prostitution, drugs, cultism and so on. All these vices can also destroy not only the person involved, but a community and even a nation at large.
One way to respond to negative peer pressure is self-confidence, developing a high self-esteem is very pertinent.
The National Report on the State of Self-
Esteem by Dove Self Esteem Fund, reports that 75% of girls with low self-esteem are reported to engage in negative activities compared to the 25% of girls with high self-esteem.
Be yourself, learn to choose your friends and make the most out of the interaction with them, listen to your guts and make your decisions not minding what others may look at you.
Like I stated earlier, peer pressure can happen to any of us, you can develop and boost your self-esteem and can be confident to handle it when it strikes.
Violet Fanseh is a 400level microbiology student in the University of Calabar.
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