Peer pressure can happen any place, any time, to anyone, and at any age. There is a lot happening when you come to college so it may be tempting to do things, you might not otherwise choose to do, just to fit in. It can be difficult to stand up to peer pressure especially when it is by individual’s you value in your life such as friends. If they are truly friends then they will not pressure you to change your attitude, behavior or morals. 

Ways to Stand Up to Peer Pressure

  • Make decisions based on what is best for YOU.
  • Take ownership and responsibility for what you do and how you think.
  • Make friends with others who share common interests, values, and beliefs.
  • If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t so just say NO. Have inner strength and confidence you are making the best choice at that given time.
  • Talk to someone you can trust whether a friend, family member or counselor for support and guidance.
  • When you notice someone is not feeling comfortable with a certain situation, take action, and let them know they do not have to do anything they do not want to do.
  • Ask yourself if it is worth compromising your integrity, values, and beliefs.

Ways Peer Pressure Influences Us

  • Fashion
  • Decision to date someone
  • Choice of friends
  • Sexuality
  • Social groups, organizations, other involvements
  • Exercise habits
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Academic performance
  • Financially
  • Music and media preferences
  • Food choices/eating habits
  • Material Possessions

NOTE: Not all peer pressure is negative. Your peer group can influence you to make positive changes in your life or motivate you to try something different that helps you be your best.


Dean of Students Office: 217-333-0050
Office of Conflict Resolution: 217-333-3680
Counseling Center: 217-333-3704
McKinley Mental Health: 217-333-2705