Emily Perry / Equinox Staff

Alyssa Wisniewski

Student Life Editor

A lot of times in a college career, students are peer pressured into doing things out of their comfort zone.

Debra Barrett, a nurse at Keene State College’s Health and Wellness Center, said: “It makes it hard to say no when all of their friends are doing it… ”

“Whatever the activity is, some students just don’t feel comfortable,” Barrett said.

Cierra Taber, a first-year student said, “Peer pressure, for me, happened a lot in the past, and even being here in college.”

Whenever Taber feels uncomfortable, she uses a backup plan that she has arranged with her friend.

“Whenever I’m in a situation that involves peer pressure, I text my best friend ‘XXX’ and she’ll call me and say, ‘I have to talk to you right now.’ That typically helps when I’m pressured by friends,” Taber said. She added, “I’ve never had to use it before, but it’s good to have in case I do.

Josephine M Palmeri at NYU explained that, “Students who enter college determined to remain non-drinkers often give in to peer pressure in order to become a part of the in-group.

“If a friend makes you uncomfortable, then they are not your friends,” Taber says.

In the same journal, Palmeri explains that “vulnerable college groups (e.g., first-years and non-drinkers) will give in to peer pressure in hopes to be socially accepted and have a successful transition to college.”

Debra Barrett said, “Especially first-year students, it being their first time away from home, they see what other people are doing. It can be very hard to not say no.”

Many students fear that if they don’t do what their friends are asking them to do, they might be rejected.

“It’s another stressor that is on students, and sometimes they will just give in,” added Barrett.

Although peer pressure is looked at in a negative light, there is a way to give positive peer pressure.

Taber said, “Sometimes I’ll meet up with my friends in the library to study, even if I don’t want to go. They pressure me into going to help me get better grades on papers and exams.”

Taber also said, “Peer pressure, to me, isn’t always bad. In some ways, it has helped me, but you have to make sure you find the right group of friends.”

Peer pressure doesn’t always just affect friendships, it also affects romantic relationships.

“If your significant other is pressuring you into drinking, for example, remind them again you’re there for their safety,” Taber said.

Being in a relationship sometimes can make a student feel like they have to say yes.

“Peer pressure can definitely stress students out in sexual relationships because they hear what their friends are doing and it makes them feel like they have to do it too,” Barrett added.

“It hurts the trust of the relationship, and could lead to something unwanted,” Taber said.

Peer pressure can come in many different ways, but it’s all about remembering who you are as a person.

Taber added, “I think that students that are going through this should remind themselves that it’s okay to say no and stay true to yourself. If you don’t like what is happening, just try to remove yourself from the situation.”

Alyssa Wisniewski can be contacted at


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