By Lata Jha:
People tend to create their own definitions these days, definitions that go beyond the meanings made available in conventional dictionaries; definitions of what needs to be done, what ought to be done and what is the ‘cool’ thing to do. Especially as a student in formative years in schools and colleges, we come to be greatly affected by and in turn, influence those in our seemingly large worlds, often unconsciously. Society and the process of socialisation instil in us from the very beginning the need to be accepted, especially by those around us, to follow certain dos and don’ts. In this regard, peer pressure is a very important part of socialisation.
I’m not saying peer pressure is necessarily bad. It’s just that when we, out of either compulsion or choice, spend a lot of our time with certain people, they often end up impacting us more than they should be. It is in fact often unconscious. There is no harm in learning good stuff from our school and college mates, as long as it’s about discipline, drive or focus. Peer pressure begins to harm when it overshadows the ‘I’ in you. You begin to speak the language that you’ve been told is cool. You stop thinking for/about yourself. Just like alcohol, or drugs, it is a matter of being a part of the ‘hep’ gang in school or college. The primary motive behind this is, not being one of those annoying spoilsports and often most of us fall prey to the ‘herd mentality’.
Science is the way to go. Doesn’t matter if you can’t tell sodium from sodomy, but it is the only track life has to offer or Chartered Accountancy, at best. That is as experimental as you can get after all, everyone around you keeps telling you of the various exams you could take. You will crack some of them and then there are interviews and the bait of great perks. It doesn’t matter whether you have the aptitude or not, or does it?