The way movies and TV make it seem, college is just one big party. While Hollywood definitely exaggerates things, people do seem to misplace their moral compass as soon as they start college. It’s important not to judge people for the decisions they make, but you also shouldn’t feel pressured to abandon your morals, too. Here are some tips on how to resist peer pressure in college.
1. Talk to Your Parents
Before starting college, try talking to your parents. They will have loads of advice for you! Don’t feel uncomfortable, after all you haven’t done anything wrong yet. They were young once too and lived to tell the tale, so they know how to deal with peer pressure better than anyone else. Plus, knowing what your parents expect of you can keep you motivated throughout the year to live up to their expectations.
2. Talk to Older Siblings
If talking to mom or dad is just too awkward, try talking to an older sibling or even a friend who has already gone to college. Even if they gave into peer pressure, they can provide valuable perspective and insight that will help prepare you for difficult college situations.
3. Make Your Stance Known
Make your stance on drinking, drugs, partying, sex etc. known to yourself and those around you. You’d be surprised by how much people respect that! In fact, they’re often impressed by your willpower, not like in the movies where you’d be declared a nerd who doesn’t know how to have fun. In real life, people respect taking a stance, so don’t be shy!
4. Don’t Give up the Search for “your People”
Not everyone goes out to party every weekend. There are plenty of people content to go see a play or concert, or stay in to watch a movie on Netflix. Whatever your idea of a good time is, someone else agrees. You just have to find your people so you can still have a social life without sacrificing your morals.
5. Find an Accountability Partner
If you can’t find your people right away, you can find just one person to serve as your accountability partner. Together, you can resist the temptations of peer pressure by encouraging one another to stick to your beliefs. If all of your other friends are going out, you don’t have to stay cooped up inside. You can go with them, but bring your accountability partner along to help keep you on track.
6. Be Busy
If you’re too busy for distractions, peer pressure can’t get to you. Keep busy with extracurriculars and challenging classes so you always have an excuse to back up your “no”.
7. Don’t Freak out if You Slip up
Lastly, keep in mind that you’re human. If you slip up, it’s no big deal. Stressing about every mistake will only make you want to give up even more when you realize how impossible it is to be perfect. If you give into peer pressure every once in a while, accept it and move on. Tomorrow is a new day!
There’s nothing wrong with having fun in college, but if you feel like you’re being pressured to have more “fun” than you feel comfortable with, you can say no. How do you deal with peer pressure?