Chris Varalla: Peer Pressure, The Silent Killer

Posted by in Temptation | August 9, 2012

I was once asked, “What’s one piece of advice you wish you could’ve given yourself when you were a freshman in high school?”

Going into high school, all I heard about was how I would be peer pressured to do this and peer pressured to do that. I thought that kids would tell me if I didn’t do something, then I wouldn’t be considered, “cool.” Looking back on high school, I realize that peer pressure was completely different from what I had envisioned, and it took advantage of me when I wasn’t looking.

Peer pressure comes in many different forms. You certainly face the peer pressure of a kid saying you won’t be cool if you do something, but the most dangerous peer pressure I faced was what I call the, “silent peer pressure.” This type of peer pressure can be a killer if you don’t know how to recognize it. In high school, I was rarely openly pressured to do something illegal because my peers knew that I would say no; however, I was silently peer pressured because I hung out with the wrong crowd. I surrounded myself with a worldly crowd and slowly let my barriers slip down to their level without someone ever actually pressuring me. In no time, I found myself drinking and smoking just like my peers because being around it had numbed my mind and compromised my judgement. I thought that it was all okay and it would all work out.

If I could give any freshman a piece of advice, it would be to pick the right crowd and a group of friends that love the Lord and support each other. Keep a close bond with each other and hold each other accountable. Don’t be afraid to tell your friend when he/she screws up because if it goes unacknowledged, it will just become a slippery slope into worse decisions and more difficult situations.

Chris Varalla

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