I Believe In Not Giving In To Peer Pressure

Ben - Des Plaines, Illinois
Entered on January 8, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

When I was in grade school I loved attention. Just like many others I longed for everyone to have their eyes on me. I longed for people’s approval and acceptance so I did whatever I could to make them like me. It became a big problem because instead of performing well in school or being a model student I decided I should be the “class clown” I did exactly that all the time. And every time someone would laugh at a joke I made or something I did I would love it. And that’s when I met this girl. She was a very interesting girl because she had everyone’s attention by doing the opposite of what I did. She did things like get good grades, listening to her parents. She also sang songs I liked and was very good at it. But instead of trying to be more like her to get attention, I pushed things too far or too the point where not only were none of the children laughing but my friend was now upset with me for being obnoxious. This made me frustrated. All I was trying to do was get people to pay attention to me. By 4th grade I had made a reputation for myself that was a little less than satisfactory. People would often make fun of me or make cruel remarks because I went from being the “class clown” to the “bad influence” so lots of kids would refuse to talk to me because there parents had seen me trying to get everyone’s attention but getting attention in the wrong way. My friend was one of these kids. This hurt my self esteem and I made me realize what I was doing to be liked what was actually making people dislike me.

6th grade rolled around and I started to understand why people disliked me so I tried to fix it. I started being less talkative and changed my personality almost completely, but then try outs for the school musical rolled around and I thought id try out, I got the information packet and started to practice one of my so called friends saw me practicing one day and decided that it wasn’t “cool” for a boy to be acting and singing. He told 2 people and they told 2 people and it got around to all my friends that I was trying out for the musical and they all laughed and told me not to do it because it wasn’t a thing normal boys did, and even some of these so called “friends” started to talk behind my back. This frightened me and I did not want what happened in grade school to happen again, so instead of going and doing the 1 thing I really wanted to do I chickened out and when my music teacher asked me why I wasn’t doing it I just replied “I just don’t want to do it anymore” which was a lie because I wanted too so bad because I wanted to perform, and get attention. My so called friends where the reason I didn’t do it and I would later regret it. My friends didn’t like me for the real me.

7th grade came faster than I thought and I decided I was going to do what I wanted to do and not let my friends persuade me. I decided no matter what anyone would say to me I was going to try out for Mrs. Miller’s play. Then I saw that my old friend from grade school was trying out and this frightened me because she didn’t like me and I didn’t like her. So I again chickened out of doing what I wanted to do. Then after it was too late I regretted my discussion so much. 8th grade I moved to a new school a new start. So this time I was sure I was going to do it I was going to try out and no one would stop me. I had made a small group of friends during the first part of 8th grade and immediately when they found out my intent to try out for the musical and told me not to do it but I didn’t listen to them this time. This time I was doing it so I tried out. The try out went great and I got the lead role. I was so happy and I didn’t care what anyone said to me about it. The musical wasn’t the best but I enjoyed working with the other kids who tried out. The musical wasn’t the best performance in the world but I had finally gotten everyone’s attention and in a good way. People came up to me after the performance and told me how amazed to see a kid like me up there on stage, and all my teachers told me how proud of me they where. This was great

Finally high school came and I tried out for the play and for the musical. I even became friends with my grade school friend again, all because I didn’t let anyone pressure me into doing something I didn’t want to do. I believe if you want attention you can get it in different ways that don’t include giving into peer pressure.