ASB president encourages peer support system
Roman Endicott, associated student body president, shares about peer pressure and the negative effects it has on himself and others.
In last month’s column, I alluded to a difference between stepping out of your comfort zone and succumbing to peer pressure. For those who joined me at the ice skating night and were lucky enough to see me eat it on the ice, I’m sure the bittersweet expression of pure joy with an underlying sense of slight pain on my face was a great example of what stepping out is all about.
Before we discuss this topic, it is important to define the term peer pressure. While this term usually carries a bad connotation, there are both good and bad types of peer pressure. For the sake of this column, we will be talking about the negative type.
ReachOut Australia gives a good definition that I feel fits the topic at hand. They say, “if you’re doing something you wouldn’t normally do, or are not doing something you’d like to do, simply so that you’ll be accepted by the people you hang out with, you’re suffering from peer pressure.”
It is important to realize that this can happen at any time and that there are a few ways to combat it. One key way is to maintain a good mental posture and character at all times. A few years ago, one of my coaches noticed I was slouching a little when I stood and had bad physical posture.
These next few weeks, I think we should all make a conscious effort and be on the lookout for those who may be struggling with this issue. A word of encouragement or a token of advice is all it would take to make a positive change in a major decision in the life of another. — Roman Endicott
The only way to correct this was to loosen the muscles in my chest by stretching because they were drawing my body into a position it wasn’t meant to be. I also had to tighten the muscles in my back with some exercises because they were not giving my body the support it needed to hold itself straight.
I think this can be applied to our mental posture as well. I feel it is very beneficial to loosen up and stop judging others as it draws our focus away from what is important and it might also encourage others to respect your choices if you respect theirs.
Instead, we should focus inwards on ourselves when assessing motives and evaluating performance. This way we can be strong enough to hold ourselves up and stick to what we believe. One of the most powerful skills in life is that of being able to say no.
One other way to avoid giving into peer pressure is to lean on those you trust. There is strength in numbers! Anytime I feel that I am not sure what the right decision is, I usually tell them that I’d like to think about it first so that I can talk it out with whoever I feel would be able to help me the most.
One student that serves as an example of healthy mental posture is sophomore Logan Lewis. He would also be a great person to lean on in any tough situation, as I know he would be willing to help out anyone who asked.
These next few weeks, I think we should all make a conscious effort and be on the lookout for those who may be struggling with this issue. A word of encouragement or a token of advice is all it would take to make a positive change in a major decision in the life of another.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 – “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Roman Endicott can be reached via email.Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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