In the eighth grade, I had a large group of friends, most of whom I had just met that year or at the end of seventh grade. It was great being such good friends with so many people, but as the year went on, a lot began to change.
First, my friends started drinking and although I didn’t participate, I would still hang out with them. They were my best friends and I wasn’t going to stop hanging out with them all of a sudden. But as eighth grade continued, things got worse.
I could see that my best friends were in way too deep. It was the eighth grade and they were all doing drugs that I would never even think about touching. My friends, who I had spent all my weekends with, were now spending their weekends “rolling” on Ecstasy while I stood awkwardly by, questioning what in the world they were doing.
Regardless of what anyone tells me, I will never touch drugs. I made this promised to myself when I was in junior high and it has resonated with me throughout my high school career. The peer pressure that I’ve experienced to do drugs has not altered me for a second. I am so happy that I have been able to fight off the peer pressure over these past years. Seeing the path that my friends have taken has inspired me to not give in to peer pressure. But just because I did not give into peer pressure does not mean that hanging out with the wrong crowd did not negatively affect me.
I am graduating very soon and going to my dream school. I have never done a drug in my life and I plan on staying that way. However, my best friends who I loved so dearly in the eighth grade did not have the luck that I did.
My friend and I are the only ones that are not addicted to extreme narcotics. Like heroin and/or dropped out of high school. I think about what could have happened to me if I would have given into peer pressure all those years ago.
I still wonder if there was anything I could have done to help my friends. Maybe if I tried harder to stop them from experimenting with drugs, then perhaps they would not have completely destroyed their lives.
Today, I am honored and blessed to have amazing friends that I know would never pressure me to do anything I do not want to do. And even if they did, I know that I am strong enough to say no.
– Sydney Salazar