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“I’m just like everyone. I like to feel togetherness with someone”— a quotation by Lucinda Williams that shows a person’s need for somebody.
Have you ever imagined yourself living a day without somebody else?—only you, you, and you, nothing but you. Reality check, it’s so hard to spend a day with nobody to talk to.
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How does it feel like to be a loner for a day? Imagine yourself eating alone on the table, watching movies solo, and guiding yourself to surpass your own problem with no one to talk to. Quite manageable but seems impossible. You don’t want to be out of place, right?
We seek happiness outside our homes, and that’s when the peers will enter. Peers play a vital role to every person because they are the ones who influence us aside from our family, in either good or bad way. It’s very natural to people to be around with the same persons as they are; the same age group; or the persons they wished to be. We are influenced by others because we want to fit in. Teenagers are very prone to this issue.
Having good friends in our life is important to our happiness, but sometimes trying to fit in with a group can turn bitter instead of better.
Just like what happened to Bryan.
“Peer pressure? Malaking parte ng buhay ko yan. Half of my life ata, mga kaibigan ko nagpapatakbo sakin.”
Bryan is very attached to his friends. Once his friends start doing something, he’ll follow immediately, no second thoughts. He treats his friends as family. In fact, he thinks that he’s happier with them than his family.
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When he was in second year high school, he already tasted the life of bitterness. He tried to smoke weeds. He started using it when he was a high school student until his second year in college. Because of the persuading friends he had, his view in life revolved around his friends. He lived according to his friends’ ways. He thinks that by doing so, he would fit in.
What’s even worse is that, he’s not just a user; he became a pusher for some time.
“Di lang ako gumamit, na-try ko na rin magbenta. And yeah, ang bilis ng pera” he confessed. He had no other choice but to do it. He ran away from his family for a week because of his issues with his father, which he refused to share. He has no money that time so he asked his friend if he could do that to support his own. And then it happened.
He experienced how to live alone with no money; sleep in a computer shop in Katipunan; and to take a bath in some establishments. The moment he used it, fear run through his blood. Every time he goes to the mall, he’s afraid to come in because the K9 might notice his smell. But his friends kept on convincing him not to stop.
As he tells his story, I am sure that he has a family problem that really affects him. In the middle paragraph of this article, I said that he refused to share the story with his father but he didn’t notice that as the story goes, he is giving me the information about his personal life.
He hates his father so much.
He doesn’t feel the love and tender that a father could give to his son. So, they always fight, not just verbally but also physically.
The fact that the “family” we call, affects us so much reflects on how we see the world. Like peers, family also plays an important role in the life of a person. But once that “family” refused to accompany a person, the tendency is that, the person will turn to his friends for support. If he does not see and feel the security at home, he will look for it outside the door.
But peer pressure is not just about the negative side.
“May kaibigan ako, sabi niya sobrang thankful daw niya na ako ‘yung kaibigan niya kasi ang laki ng pinagbago niya dahil sakin” says Che.
Che is a college student and a consistent Dean’s Lister since her first year. She is very proud to say that she affected her friend so much when it comes to studies. Her friend was a lazy bum.
“Grabe, di talaga yun nag-aaral. Malalaman lang niya na may quiz sa mismong araw ng quiz din. Kung alam man niya, di pa rin siya nagrereview kaya ang bababa ng grades nun.”
Almost half of their days in school, she’s annoyed to her friend because of her laziness. They even fight because of it. Che doesn’t want her friend to fail but if her friend didn’t want to go her way, she’ll stop.
“Pero ngayon iba na.”
“Last birthday ko, nag-message siya sakin. Grabe nga eh. Di ako makapaniwala sa sinabi niya. Di ko talaga makakalimutan un. Sabi niya kasi, idol niya ko. Gusto niya lahat ng ginagawa ko, ginagawa niya rin; lahat ng meron ako, meron din siya. Kaya daw nagbago siya. Nag-aaral na siya lagi kasi gusto niyang maging kagaya ko.”
Che was successful. She did her job well. From an avid fan of bed, now a chaser for books—that’s what Che turned her friend to.
Sometimes, what we need to see and feel at home can’t satisfy us. We find the gratification outside our homes. The feel of being accepted and secured by friends pretty much affects our lifestyle, in which will influence us.
Before we do something, think not only once, not even twice, thrice is good, but multiple times is better.
We treat our friends like our family; we love them as much as we love ourselves; but how much can you give for your friends?
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