Bad Influence: Surviving College Peer Pressure

You’d think that most of your typical peer pressures end in high school. Everyone in college is an adult, and you’re required to show a little responsibility for your actions. Unfortunately, peer pressure is a problem that lasts for your entire life. College is no exception, in fact, it’s relatively safe to say that peer pressure is about as intense as it gets when you’re trying to get your degree. Here are some of the most common peer pressures and how to navigate them.


College classes are hard. They’re designed to push you to new heights, and they require an incredible amount of dedication, study, and sacrifice. However, some students think that they’re owed a degree no matter what and they shouldn’t have to study. People will ask to copy your assignment, try to look at your test answers, or aks to buy your research papers. Other students will want you to come party and try to convince you that plagiarising is acceptable behavior.

Always remember what’s at stake. If you get caught cheating the consequences are far more than a failed grade and a trip to the principal’s office. It’s at least a failed grade and at most an expulsion from your university with a record that follows you wherever you go. It could destroy everything you’re trying to do.

Cheating is also stupid. You need the information in the class, and you must learn how to do things. Your future career depends on it. Be smart and be honest. Cheating is never worth it.


A lot of your peers will try to make you feel “uncool” if you’re not sleeping around. They’ll tell you it’s no big deal, or try to convince you that you’re a child. The truth is that your intimate life is your business and no one else’s. If someone is trying to convince you otherwise, they’re not a good friend, and they’re about as mature as a twelve-year-old with a dirty magazine. Be an adult and make decisions about physical relationships or intimacy based on your standards and your ideas. It’s no one’s business but your own. If you ever feel pressured or uncomfortable because of your peers, find new peers. They aren’t your friends.

Drugs/Alcohol Abuse

One of the most common peer pressures in college is binge drinking and drug use. People will try to get you to drink until you’re blackout drunk. Others will offer you substances under the guise of “they’ll help you study” or “they’ll help you relax.” If you need medication, go to a doctor. Otherwise,┬átake a hard pass. Going to jail will ruin your plans.

Binge drinking is dangerous and could lead to bad decisions, jail time, alcohol poisoning, or even death. If you decide to drink, do it responsibly. Never drink and drive, and never show up to class drunk. If your campus is a dry campus, keep the booze away from school. You’re an adult. Act like it.

Peer pressure is a never-ending problem. The best way to combat peer pressure is to have enough confidence to walk away from people who don’t have your best interests in mind. How do you tell who has your best interest? You’ll recognize it by meeting people who encourage you to make decisions that will help you reach your goals, be happy, stay healthy, and feel good about yourself. Those people will say “ok, cool” if you say you don’t drink or that you’re done. They will offer to help you study instead of trying to convince you to cheat. They will respect you and love you for who you are. Find those friends and be that kind of person. You’re an adult; the stakes are high. Make healthy decisions and walk away from peer pressure.

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