Peer Pressure: Don’t Give In!

Alcohol, Bullying, Drugs, Juvenile Crime, Life, Relationships, School, Trouble

Teens are always pressuring friends and people at school to do all sorts of things that aren’t cool. You may have had a friend or peer try and talk you into things like drinking, smoking, doing drugs, having sex, shoplifting, or cheating on a test or homework. They probably make you feel like you’re lame if you don’t do it, right? They usually say things like “it’s not that big of a deal,” and “everyone’s doing it.” Maybe they even say “you won’t know how you really feel about it unless you try it.”

Being pressured to do something is tough. On one hand, you don’t want anyone to think you’re uncool or too scared or too good to try something. You definitely don’t want to lose your friends. But on the other hand, you know what’s right and what’s wrong. You also know what’s illegal, and you definitely don’t want to get in trouble with the law and put your future at risk. So what can you do?

Here are some ways you can say no….

  • Just say no. Be straight up with them. Just say “no thanks,” or “nah dude, I’m good.” You can just walk away if you want, or change the subject. You really don’t owe them any explanation.
  • Give a reason. If you do want to give them an explanation, or if they keep bugging you about it, just tell them honestly why you don’t want to. If they’re pressuring you to smoke, you can say something like, “I’m trying to stay in shape for basketball” or “I have asthma.” Or you can even say something like, “I think smoking is gross. It’s super bad for you.”
  • Avoid the situation. If you’re invited to a party where you’re pretty sure there will be alcohol, it might be a better idea to just not go to that party. If you don’t want to participate, just stay away so you don’t get pressured all night.
  • Change the subject. Just change the subject and ignore the question. If someone offers you a joint, say something totally random like, “Oh hey, did you see what this person posted on Facebook?”
  • Reverse the pressure. If they’re making you feel like you’re lame, turn it back on them. Say something like, “I don’t need to do that to prove I’m cool” or “dude that’s lame, I don’t do that.”
  • Delay. If someone is trying to get you to go out with them and you don’t really want to, say, “Let’s be friends for a while so we can get to know each other better first.”

If someone is trying to push you do something that 1) is bad for you, 2) will get you in trouble, and 3) they know you don’t really want to do…. Are they really your friend? For real. Friends don’t do that. Friends respect each other, and you shouldn’t need to do stupid stuff in order for you “friends” to like you.

If your friends are trying to pressure you to do anything, anything at all… you should probably find a new crowd to hang with. Peer pressure is lame, don’t put up with it from anyone.

Studying 101

College, School

Do you sometimes have a hard time studying for big tests, and getting big projects done on time? Is it hard for you to concentrate and study for long periods of time? The truth is, everyone is different, and you need to learn how YOU study the best if you want to start doing better in school. Here are several tips that will help you figure out the best way for you to study:

  • Get organized. Keep all your syllabuses from each class, and write down all your papers, tests, and projects in a calendar. This will help you know ahead of time when things are going to be do, instead of waiting until the last minute when your teacher finally mentions it in class. You’ll be able to begin working and studying well in advance.
  • Plan out projects. See how long each step will take you, so you have enough time to complete the whole thing. Sometimes if you don’t plan things out ahead of time, they’ll end up taking you a lot longer than you expected and you may run out of time.
  • Determine what time of day you are most alert. If you’re a morning person, wake up a little earlier to do homework and study. If you’re a night owl, do it at night.
  • Figure out what distracts you the most. If you find yourself going on Facebook every time you write a paper, it might be a good idea to turn off the internet; or if you need the internet, don’t go on Facebook even “just for a minute.” If people distract you, make sure you study alone. Avoid whatever distracts you so you can get more done.
  • If you study in a group, make sure to study with people who are serious about the test or project. Sometimes people get distracted and start talking too much, or showing each other things on the internet. You’ll never get anything done if your group doesn’t focus. Don’t be afraid to speak up and say “Sorry, but I really need to work on this.”
  • Prioritize if you have multiple tests and projects. Determine which ones are a bigger percent of your grade, which ones will probably take you the longest, and which subjects you’re not as good at. Get those done first.
  • Listen to music if it helps. Some people get too distracted by music, but for some people, music makes studying not so boring and it keeps them awake. Try it out and see if it helps you.
  • Don’t do all your studying or work for your project in one night, space it out. If you cram, you won’t learn or remember as much. If you try to bust out a big paper or project in one evening, you won’t do such a good job. Give yourself time to work on it for shorter periods of time for several days.
  • Take breaks. If you are studying or working on something for a really long time, take breaks. You don’t have to sit there and work for several hours straight. You’ll get burnt out, and eventually you’ll stop retaining information. It’s okay to take a quick 10-15 minute break to check Facebook, talk to a friend, and just relax. You’ll feel recharged and be able to focus again even with just a short break.
  • Eat snacks. Sometimes you just need more energy to keep you going and focused. Eat something healthy, though… like fruits and veggies, crackers, yogurt, or a granola bar.
  • Study in the right place. People study better in different places. Some people prefer to sit in a coffee shop with a friend while they work, some people feel more motivated in the library where it’s quiet, others like staying in their room at home. See what works for you.
  • Make sure you understand the information and you aren’t just memorizing it. There’s no sense in learning about something if you don’t actually understand it. Memorizing definitions and answers to questions won’t do you any good. Besides, what if it’s worded differently on the test? If you aren’t getting something, ask your teacher or someone in your class, or look it up in your book or online.
  • Have someone quiz you. If you want to make sure you’re ready for the test, you’ll have to study in a way that you won’t be able to see all the answers. So have a friend or parent ask you some questions and see how you do, before you’re really getting tested on it.
  • Make flashcards. Flashcards are a great tool for studying. Writing down information on the cards will help you remember a lot, and you can use them to quiz yourself.
  • Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before your test. Pulling all-nighters will never do you any good. You don’t want to be sleepy and groggy while you’re taking a big test… you need to be awake, alert, and focused. Make sure you eat a good, healthy meal beforehand, too.

Whether you’re in middle school, high school, or college, you need to do well in school! And you need to learn how you study the best so you can succeed and get good grades. Hopefully some of these tips are helpful for you!