No One Prepares You For The Peer Pressure That Forces You To Choose 'Better' Decisions

No One Prepares You For The Peer Pressure That Forces You To Choose 'Better' Decisions

Even if you have the next four years planned out, hearing what others are doing can make you doubt what you want.
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If I had chosen to follow in others' high school plans, I would be regretting it years from now.

There's the classic case of seeing others engaging in bad (but compelling) acts, like smoking or drinking and being forced by them to join in, but no one really prepares you for the peer pressure that comes with making decisions about your future. Yes, I know that people say, "Choose what you feel is right for you specifically," and I have done just that. Every decision I've made about my future thus far has focused on what I want, but these all have been tiny yes or no's — not ones that have shaped where I'll be heading career-wise for the rest of my working life.

And after the decision-making comes the second-guessing, which happens only to some people who are more susceptible to it than others.

I've always found myself able to easily stand up against addictively-gross habits that are known to destroy people's lives, but never did I realize how open I was to being persuaded by what others see for their futures. A few days ago, I received my course recommendations for the upcoming school year, and I could not have been prouder of myself. The courses I was given matched perfectly to my high school plan, and I was right on target with what classes I felt were most interesting.

But I'll own up to the fact that I can lack balance. I am the straight image of a workaholic, and up until a few years ago, that was all I felt was necessary to being successful. Work, work and more work. I thought there was nothing wrong with working so much because I enjoyed doing it. So when someone finally came clean and told me that I had to cut it down before I went insane, I realized how much the rest of my life had been impacted by my addiction to working. Everything else came second to the papers sitting in my bag, waiting to be completed.

So I spent the next years after that working on my extracurriculars and spending more time with my friends. I had a lot more balance in my life, and even if I thought I was initially happy filling out papers all day, I was even happier mixing it with my life outside of working.

Now, because it'd been so long since I'd received a wake-up call, I didn't know how to handle a sudden reminder from someone that I needed to stay balanced. Because I was hitting every point in my life perfectly, I could see the gold medal waiting for me. I actually felt excited for the rest of my high school career.

That was, until the college conversation began.

Course recommendations are a stressful time of the year because you have to make a decision that you'll stick by for a whole nine months. I was fairly confident in my choices, but when I sat down in my next class that day, I heard my friend mention all of these fancy names for courses she was taking.

I felt a pit of dread grow in my stomach, and I felt... stuck. That's a good word for it. Stuck. I thought because I'd set a high school plan, I chained myself to it and had made a pact that there would be absolutely no way for me to get out of the deal I made with myself. I wanted to change all of my courses for some reason, the ones that I'd been itching to take for years because of my interest in those fields. I wanted to change them because someone else's courses sounded better.

So I went home that day, feeling a few traitor tears fall because I was so nervous about losing my chances at getting into the colleges I wanted to go to. Suddenly, I could see the gold medal at the end disappearing and being replaced with a rusty trophy that said, "You could've done better."

People don't prepare you for the peer pressure that forces you to make "better" decisions. They don't let you know just how important it is to follow your own future and not be blinded by the image of someone else's. But that evening, I learned how vital it is to be true to yourself in all aspects, especially when the topic concerns your future.

I like to think that I live for who I am, and 99 percent of the time, that's true. I needed just that little nudge in the right direction to understand that the one percent of the time I'm living for others, I'm not living my best life. So now, I'm back on schedule and once again ready to take on the world. No one said life would be as easy as can be, but I know I can take away those unnecessary bumps along the way if I just relax and lead my own path.

I can already start to see that gold medal shining again.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash / Jonathan Daniels

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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Being Sick In College Is A Real Struggle

Being sick in college is definitely not as fun as having a sick day in middle school or high school.

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Something that I have had to deal with multiple times these past two semesters is being sick while in school. It can be a real pain especially depending on what type of sickness it is. I have had tonsillitis, mono, and I'm pretty sure I also had the flu.

Being at school and away from home can make being sick worse because there is nobody to take of you such as your parents. Another thing is having to make the decision to get the rest that your body needs in order to feel better or staying on top of your assignments to avoid falling behind. My parents will always tell me to get a good night's sleep so my body can feel better the next day. However, sometimes I will feel more stress if my work isn't getting done and I feel like I'm falling behind and leaving things to get done in the last minute.

Currently, I am sick now and the past few days haven't been easy, but I still attended all my classes so I wouldn't miss any material or assignments that were given. I usually end up feeling the worst at night when trying to fall asleep, and by that time the doctors are not present at the student health center. Even though my health is important I usually don't like taking too much time out of my day to go to the health center to see a doctor. Some days I don't really have much free time before the evening.

I don't believe I have been over-exerting myself, but I don't want to just stay in my bed all day and sleep, even though that may be what is best for me. Most professors will be understanding if I email them and provide them a doctor's note as well, but I also just got back from a conference where I had to miss two days of classes next week.

I have been trying to keep hydrated so that way my body can fight the sickness. Also, I have been told if you stay hydrated you can flush the virus out of your body quicker.

Eating can also be a pain when you have a sore throat, for the past couple of days I have tried to have some soup in order to help. Most meals I would have to force myself to eat something of substance in order to give my body some type of energy in order to get through the day. It's also never fun not being able to breathe out of your nostrils. If it wasn't my nose being stuffed, then it would be constantly runny so there was no winning that battle.

Looking back, I probably should have done a bit more work over spring break in order to get ahead in the case that something like this would happen. I wanted my break to be exactly that, a break. After not being home for a few months I just wanted some time off to relax.

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