Hey guys! I'm really excited to be back this week to share my second round of research with you all. As you may know already, my inquiry topic for this cycle is "Why are people being affected by drugs at music festivals?" In my previous round of research, I covered what music festivals are and their goals, why some choose to attend these events, why they are so incredibly popular nowadays and most commonly used recreational drugs and the purpose/side effects. That was a lot!
However, in this round, I will be focusing on peer pressure within music festivals. I will be discussing peer pressure between adolescents, why people must prove that they are taking drugs and how to simply, say no!
Peer pressure between adolescents
Peer pressure is a phrase we are taught since we are young; it's always around us! Just like peers; we are influenced by many people. It can be the way we talk, the way we dress, or even the music we listen to. But what is peer pressure? How can we define it?
Peer pressure can be viewed as the wanting to feel part of something, that can put pressure on you to act a certain way. (1) You could be doing something you don't normally do, or perhaps stepping out of your comfort zone to simply be a part of something. The reason I decided to minimize my research towards adolescents in this factor, is because they are usually the ones the most impacted in events, such as music festivals. However, to further our knowledge, we must understand that peer pressure has no age limit; and it happens to every and each one of us daily. (1,2)
Peers influence our lives, sometimes without of us knowing. You learn from them and they learn from you. It's human nature for us to listen and learn from others, which makes this topic even more interesting. (2)
On the other hand, peer pressure can be either positive or negative. Examples of negative peer pressure can vary from skipping class to hang out with friend because "who needs school anyways", shoplifting to look cool, or drinking/taking drugs under pressure to "fit in". This can affect everyone, but as adolescents are developing and opening up to new factors in life, it is where we see the most pressure from others. I will be discussing more about peer pressure between drugs very soon, so stay tuned! (2,3)
However, there is also peer pressure that can be viewed positively, to help us gain something, which could be confidence or moral support. For example, the pressure to exercise, or the pressure to be kind to others to receive the same treatment back. This type of peer pressure is comforting to one another, and has an objectif at the end of it's action. Such as exercising, we will feel better once we do it more often! (3)
Looking at what peer pressure can look like between adolescents, either positive or negative, can drive us to ask certain questions. For example:
Why do people need to prove they are taking drugs at music festivals?
When I first learned about the use of substances at music festivals, I asked myself this very same question. What's wrong with saying no if you are not comfortable? Why must you show others you have the ability to take drugs?
New research shows that, when making a decision, teens think about both the risk and rewards of their behaviour and actions, but unlike adults, teens are most likely to ignore the risk in favour of the reward. (4) This can be seen in the point of view of drugs too, where they are very dangerous for the human body, but the aftermath can be amazing. (4)
Having the ability to prove others what you had just consumed can make you feel superior, that you are one tough person. Adolescents are also driven to prove others that they can take drugs to fit in a certain group. This could be the most popular group in school, where they might finally view you as "cool." You could also be wanting to impress others, that you are so mature for doing such actions. (4) This can be majorly viewed as just wanting to be socially accepted, that one can complete certain actions to simply fit in. Like I said, it's human nature for us listen and learn, but also to carry the feeling of being looked upon and accepted. (3)
Looking at my research, I discussed peer pressure and it's factors, and why adolescents have the need to prove that they are taking drugs at music festivals. However, I did not want to end my research without placing a positive impact on whoever decides to read this. In my point of view, it's important to take something positive and make it something useful.
So, how do we say no?
As humans, we are constantly being faced by decisions daily. Some can have plenty more risk than others, which make them so difficult to interpret. (1) Paying attention to your own feelings and beliefs about what is right and what is wrong can help you do the right thing. It takes a lot of power to walk away from something, but resisting it when you know better is so much more courageous and important. Listen to yourself and think about your morals; think about the aftermath. Is it worth it? Do I really need to do this? (1)
Additionally, having support from fellow peers that share the same values as you to say no to something is powerful. This makes it much more easier to resist an action being done, when they will back you up when you don't want to do something. Talk to someone you trust, such as a parent or even the school counsellor. Talking to someone else can make things so much better, and will prepare you for the next time you face peer pressure. (4,5)
Taking this advice, we can apply to this any scenario we face in our daily lives. Considering my topic is focused on drugs at music festivals, we can use this technique to support ourselves and others.
Thanks for reading!
I'm very excited to share with all you what I have in store for round 3 research!
Sources for photos used, listed in order that appears in research: