This I Believe

Jaymee - Owensboro, Kentucky
Entered on November 25, 2008

This I Believe

This I believe… peer pressure is a dominant presence that must be met head on, and acted against. It’s important to stand up to peer pressure and take personal responsibility.

There was an occasion in high school that I will never forget. We all have joyous memories of high school, but one that stands out to me is not. It concerns prom night of my junior year. I was very active in high school, but never participated in the heavy party scene. My friends were a mixture of people who were into partying, and who were not. I seemed to go back and forth in this world without really getting in trouble.

There were a group of us that decided to go to prom together. After eating dinner and taking pictures, someone had brought alcohol. We all had some, but I limited my intake considering I didn’t have experience. There were a few in the group you could call professional drinkers. They drank heavily every weekend and expected others to do the same. I neither refused any drinks nor did I say anything about not drinking. I thought my friends were having a good time, and that I should participate too.

Our school had an after prom, which includes fun activities for students. After arriving at after prom, we were told to register at the front door with our names and people we came with. Once we were inside, we went our separate ways looking for friends. My date and I were having a good time, until someone told me a girl in our group was acting visibly intoxicated. I was informed she was taken by the sheriff’s deputy to the principal’s office. The last time I saw her she appeared to be fine. Of course, that was looking through my eyes. My date quickly tried to find the rest of our group. Before we could find them; however, we learned school officials were looking for other members in our group. We were found and escorted to the principal’s office where we were given breathalyzer tests. Of course, we all blew positive which confirmed we had been drinking.

I was informed I was suspended for three days, and would be finishing the school year at an alternative school. As if it couldn’t get any worse, I found out the deputy was charging us with the crime of alcohol intoxication. We also made the front page of our local newspaper with headlines retelling the story of students at after prom. I realized I could have avoided the situation if I had used better judgment for myself and friends.

Fortunately, the charges were dropped, but the experience had a profound effect on me. I’m confident this incident helped me realize I must take responsibility for my actions. There can be dramatic circumstances, and I am glad that I lived through it and learned from the experience.