McGuire shares experiences of peer pressure


Jaidyn Palladini

What should I do. Sophomore Paige McGuire struggles as she decides whether to say yes or no to her friend group.

Jaidyn Palladini, Associate Editor

Sophomore Paige McGuire didn’t want to keep her thoughts from her friends for long: She had been struggling with peer pressure. Some students do not want to share their peer pressure experiences, but McGuire decided to come out of her shell. She knew that it was time to take a stand. She wasn’t going to let her friends control her for much longer. 

McGuire struggled with who to go to for help. She would go to family members, specifically her mom, for advice on the situations she was going through. Her mom had gone through a lot of the same experiences as a teenager, and McGuire knew that she could get the best advice from someone who had similar experiences back when she was in high school.

Although many people suffer from peer pressure, according to, teenagers tend to struggle the most due to not wanting to be rejected by their friends. Students feel the need to fit in with others by saying yes by pushing them to test boundaries and to do things they know they shouldn’t do. 

“There is this need to fit in and kids are already put under so much pressure,” McGuire said. “I think they focus too much on appearances and that will affect them into feeding into peer pressure more easily because if they don’t do it, students always wonder what someone else is going to think of them.” 

McGuire had gone through experiences with several friends with peer pressure. She struggled to say “no” to friends because as she felt it was wrong to go to dangerous places; she didn’t want the feeling of rejection from some of her closest friends. 

One way McGuire copes with her experiences with peer pressure is by thinking about what her actions will do to her appearance and social life because years from now, what would matter is what would happen if she were to get hurt by the choices she made. 

McGuire didn’t want her friends to control her thoughts, but she knew her right from her wrong. Her decisions in life were her choice.

“I used to think it was, but, now personally it’s not that hard because I know what my worth is and that it doesn’t really matter what other people think, but I think for some people it is definitely hard because they found a friend that they can trust and think they wouldn’t hurt them. Then they go and do something and they don’t want to lose them because it’s hard to find a friend sometimes,” McGuire said. 

Peer pressure never went away for McGuire. In fact, she states it got worse. It became harder to decide whether she should do something and face the consequences, or stay home and be safe. 

As she took on her first year of high school in 2020, during a pandemic, her choices started to become bigger responsibilities in her life. Her actions depended on the choices she made. Her life was changing in major ways, and only she could control what happened during her high school career. 

“For me personally, it doesn’t affect my decisions because I have my own opinion, and I have a right to that opinion. If I don’t want to do something, I’m not going to do it, but for a lot of people that don’t have an opinion, they just accept it think that it could be a good idea,” McGuire said. 

McGuire’s based her thoughts and feelings off situations she had been in. Although she doesn’t want to do something, there is that little thought in the back of her head telling her to do it. She feels that she will be an outcast based off of how she feels about going somewhere with friends where she knows isn’t safe.  

Day after day, time after time, she kept wishing that she had the courage at the moment. She had constant thoughts running through her head on whether she should go or not. Although she had the choice to be able to say no to her friends, she said yes, and it ended very badly in her spot in the situation she had been in. The peer pressure had gotten to her at that moment, and she couldn’t decide whether or not to stay away and have her friends get mad or have a good relationship with her friends. She didn’t realize that she had been peer pressured into what she had gotten into. 

“When you’re talking about something you really enjoy and someone tells you that it’s something you shouldn’t do and it’s something they think is weird, you should consider that it’s something wrong,” McGuire said.  

McGuire believes that students experience peer pressure in different ways. She feels that seniors have given up caring how others feel, but for freshmen, it is different. 

“I feel like for seniors it might not be as hard to say no to things because they have what actually matters and they’re looking towards their future, but definitely with freshman coming into a new atmosphere and people going into middle school for the first time is tough enough for them to fit in. It’s easier for them to say yes so they can fit in,” McGuire said.