Past Speeches

Peer Pressure

  • You’re standing in a corner of the party and looking around. You see a mixed cocktail your friend placed before you and just stare. The cigarette butts everyone’s smoked is just laying around. One drink won’t hurt, one cigarette won’t burn your lungs. What about a couple of drinks? What about a couple of cigarettes? It probably won’t hurt, right? The people around you are doing it so why shouldn’t you? So many questions but at the moment, you only think of one reason to justify it all: my friends do it so I should too. I need to fit in with crowd. Tension arises between you and your friends and you are afraid of being isolated so you do give it a try. These are the thoughts teens face in today’s world. Peer pressure channels their thoughts into wanting to impress their friends without thinking what is right for them. Now what is peer pressure? The influence of one’s peer group on that person. It is a fighting force that attacks our minds and takes control of it. But have we ever thought of what wall it tears down to get to take control of our conscience? Insecurities.
  • The wall of insecurities that stands tall in our mind. No one wants to be the kid sitting alone in the cafeteria or sitting in the corner of the classroom. Peer pressure most often gets to people who are vulnerable to making decisions to fit in rather than thinking about the consequences. Getting involved with the wrong crowd is one of the choices people make from all the pressure on them. If you don’t slightly fit society’s picture perfect version of what you should be, you suddenly feel yourself isolated from the rest of the crowd. There you are standing in the midst of a crowd yet you feel like you’re the only one in sight. When you feel those emotions, poor decisions such as smoking, drinking or getting involved with drugs lurk by in the form of “friends”, people trying to be your friend, the cute guy you like at school. It comes in many ways that are sure to lure us into the never ending cycle of negative life choices. One thing rolls into another and you suddenly find yourself too far into the circle with no way to get out.
“Be the one that influences others by being true to yourself, set your own standards and never succumb to the standards of others.” Say no!Luthando Daniels
  • It comes in many ways that are sure to lure us into the never ending cycle of negative life choices. One thing rolls into another and you suddenly find yourself too far into the circle with no way to get out. This never ending circle, I once found myself in the midst of it. Junior high is the setting. It seems like everything just goes wrong in junior high. I was new to the school district and I didn’t have a lot of friends. The friends I ended up hanging out with were so great but then they started putting pressure on me to hang out with them late at night and started pressuring me about my looks and the way I dressed, how I looked. It came to the point where I’d come home crying to my mom. I felt out of control of the way I thought. It was like Mean Girls(emphasize like crazy), I’d feel so conformed to wanting to do what she said was right. I finally let go of that friendship and got out of that circle but it’s tough and I know it’s tough. It has got worse over the years and students need to know that. We don’t have to conform to these pressures. We don’t have to change our morals to fit in. By being the best you, you are showing others that you can have fun just by making positive choices in life.We don’t have to conform to these pressures. We don’t have to change our morals to fit in. Just as Luthando Daniels said, “Be the one that influences others by being true to yourself, set your own standards and never succumb to the standards of others.” Say no to that cigarette.
  • Say no to that glass of vodka. Say no to all that gets you in the never ending circle of negative life choices. Don’t let your friends take over what you think is right. You are the sole captain and the one who controls your life. If you get involved with the right friends they will be your moral support in life choices and steer you away from making bad choices. High school is a tough time to not succumb to these pressures but I’ve learned that you can’t count on pleasing everyone. But you know who you can please? Yourself. You, yourself and you only. By taking a step in the right direction, you are taking a step with millions of people who have almost steered the wrong way too. You are not alone. You have friends, family and a SLS family who truly cares about you. We are all gathered here with one vision in mind: to change the world through our positive influences. Look around, each person here is part of your SLS family. Over the weekend, we gained so many new perspectives and great experiences, we connected with people around Michigan, we united. And it doesn’t stop here. What we learned here can be taken back to our schools and community to make differences. Peer pressure may end up winning over a lot of life choices but not ours. So the next time you find yourself falling into a poor life choice, think twice and make the right choice, the one that empowers you as a human being and the one that guides you into the path less traveled.

- SLS Students