Pause. Reflect. Introspect.

Peer PressureAre you headed somewhere you don’t really want to go? Is it that you wanted to take up Arts but ended up in the Science section in school? Have you ever felt the need for building a good profile and being pushed into activities that you don’t really enjoy, or in fact has it happened with you that you never thought you will end up smoking or drinking but landed up doing the same?

PEER PRESSURE—yes, it’s all about peer pressure! You may refute the conclusion and deny it outrightly, stating it was your choice. But was it really?

Deep inside you know what it was, and by saying that the youth today is under great peer pressure due to exponential growth of competition, the point in question stands valid and justified due to pressure—pressure to perform. Ranging from academics, sports, performing arts, to making choices in life regarding the line of work, to personal choices; all are greatly affected by the circle of one is surrounded with, the collective ideological bend towards a certain way of life.

We constantly want to fit ourselves in a mould to become popular, successful in the eyes of others and in the end to please ourselves with our achievements. It is a perfectly natural human tendency to seek attention and when attention is denied, pressure starts building up, going from notch to notch till it becomes insurmountable and the being succumbs to the pressure. Negative attention is even worse than no attention from peers, taking rude forms of teasing, bullying or merely mocking. It might be subtle or it might be explicit but the fact remains that it is very much prevalent. In fact what can be termed as positive attention and admiration reduces to a very narrow purview of being successful and hence popular.

But everyone cannot be successful and popular, going by this definition! There are bound to be people pushed back by competition and by harsh rules of the informal law set up by the mindset today. But consider for a moment, if one does make it BIG on one fine day, what about maintaining it? Multi-tasking right form personal life including relationship, managing friends to handling extracurricular activities which in themselves encompass a broad spectrum of choices; academics, preparing for you r competitive examinations—the load itself speaks volumes about the stress an average student has to undergo, let alone someone who wants to excel. At this point I would like to re-iterate that there is no audience and no podium for an average student.

So, where does one go except get swarmed and join the mob? Think about it….. When was the last time you took a decision or acted on your ‘own’ accord? Doesn’t it feel invigorating to be doing what you want, performing you think is your optimum without the mob driving you up the wall? How does it feel with a weighty box is removed from your shoulders which you have been carrying ever since you joined the system (and have even started taking pleasure in the strange rules of the system)?

The entire concept might seem childish but it is exhilarating!

Himadri Aggrawal