“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”

Jim Rohn

Peers or peer groups are an essential part of every childhood. Peers normally constitute your classmates, schoolmates, friends in the society, or in tuition classes. Having peers is good, but having supportive peers is something that people long for. Your company, after all, makes a huge effect on who you become in life. 

But often it is found that students suffer due to peer pressure. Peer pressure is basically a phenomenon where students want to become part of a particular group and in order to do so, follow the herd without realizing it’s negative impacts. 

Peer pressure can even come in the way of your preparations. Hence it is imperative to concentrate fully on your preparations rather than becoming a victim of peer pressure. The following are 5 strategies to handle peer pressure while preparing for your exams. 

1. Align with your goals

Writing down your goals and becoming aware of them is crucial to avoid any kind of peer pressure. If you are unsure of what you want in your life, you can easily fall prey to peer pressure. Often, we choose things based on what our friends tell. Even though at times it enables you to know more about different options, it might be possible that you get swayed away in all this. 

Write down about your strengths, weaknesses, interests, likings, and then choose a stream or course you are willing to study for. This way even if your friends ask you to do something else, your focus won’t deter from your goals. Align yourself with the goals and follow them. 

2. Be attentive to your feelings and time

Often peer pressure leads to a phase where we get negative vibes and feelings. For example, there was this one friend of mine whose group of friends were toxic to her. She could not understand this but as she grew up, she started feeling it and finally had to leave those friends. So if you feel that your peer is not letting you work efficiently, study at proper times, or in any way creating a negative vibe all around, it’s best to leave those friends for good. Be attentive to how you spend your time and with whom. If you are preparing for an important entrance exam, it’s best to avoid meeting your friends for gossiping and instead maybe have some good conversation regarding the tests. 

3. Talk to your parents or elder siblings/cousins

Always remember that your parents also have had their childhood times and have gone through the phase you are going through now. So if you feel that there is too much pressure and you are not able to cope up, it’s advisable to talk to your parents. They can give you some of the best suggestions on how to cope up with it. You could also talk to your elder siblings or cousins for that matter.

4. Choose your peers wisely

This point is important to remember. Always choose your peer group wisely and if you have even an ounce of doubt, it’s best to leave that particular group. Make friends with those who support you, encourage you, and make you feel good about yourself. I remember I once had a friend who always used to call me in the evening when I would sit down to study. She wouldn’t let me focus on my studies and when once, I tried calling her to ask some doubts, she downright ignored me. That was the day I realized that she was not supportive of my time and I stopped taking her calls from that day. 

If you have ever felt that a particular friend has not given due respect to your work or time, do not be with them anymore. It’s better to be with those who help you to grow rather than pull you down.   

5. Take care of your health and mindset

To handle pressure, it is good if you have a healthy body and mind. Try to indulge in some kind of sports or activities that are good for your health. Do not get swayed away by friends who tell you to try cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs. Instead, focus on becoming fit and healthy. Being healthy will also keep your mind sharp and will improve your concentration. So to keep away from any kind of pressure, first focus on yourself and do not fall for any bad habits. 

So folks that’s all for it. I hope these strategies help you in dealing with peer pressure. It is advised that you talk to your parents, siblings, and school counselor if at all you feel you are pressured by someone in particular. Don’t feel bad for asking help. Take care of your body and mindset.