Teenager's Stories: What I Learned the Hard Way about Teenage Peer Pressure

By Ashley Martin


EduGuide challenged high school English classes to think about the advice for teenagers they would give to younger students. We asked them to write about the teenagers' problems they've experienced and "what they learned the hard way." Ashley Martin responded to the challenge. Thanks, Ashley, for being an EduGuide.

In 8th grade I became best friends with this girl named Jenny. She seemed like she would be a very good friend. I guess that's when I learned that you should never judge a book by its cover. I soon learned that she was the exact opposite of a good friend. She would put me down, say mean things about me to other people, and toward the end of our friendship she would go out with the guys that I liked. I would tell myself that she was just having a bad day or that I was just imagining things. We did have a lot of fun together although, through teenage peer pressure, I mostly got in trouble with her. Every day my self esteem would be lowered in some way by her.

Teenage Peer Pressure Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

She would tell me that I looked like a hippo in my clothes and that I needed to lose a lot of weight because I was fat. She would try and get me to starve myself. She got mad when I wouldn't listen to her, so finally I just gave up and did what she wanted because I wanted my best friend to be happy. I only managed to starve myself for a week. Starving yourself is very unhealthy it causes you a lot of problems. Jenny ended up in the hospital after two months of starving herself. She couldn't smell food without getting sick. You should never give in to what your friends tell you to do if there's any doubt in your mind that it can hurt you or that it's wrong. She would also tell me that she only would hang out with ugly people to make her look better than she already did.

Friend's Adolescent Problems Made Me Want to Give Her Another Chance

Eventually I stopped hanging out with her so much. I would only talk to her about once a month if that. My self esteem was gradually increasing. I started hanging out with better friends. I was doing well. Then, she called me and told me that she was pregnant. I thought that she had changed. She was naming me as the godmother, so I started hanging out with her again. Things were good for awhile. She gave birth to her son. I loved him to death. For the first couple of weeks I was at her house every day to help take care of him. The only problem was that I stopped going to school.
Then I started going back to school a couple of months later. She started talking about me behind my back. The only time she would call me was to ask if I would watch the baby for her. She started to go back to my school. She knew that I had a crush on this guy. She started to flirt with him and the next week he was her boyfriend. It was horrible. I just couldn't take it anymore. I finally gave up on being her friend. The only reason I talk to her once in a while now is so that I can see my godson. I learned my lesson; you should never be friends with someone that is going to put you down all the time! If this or something similar is going on with you, ask yourself: is it worth feeling bad about yourself just to be friends with someone who doesn't deserve your friendship?

Qualities to Look for in Teenagers' Relationships

Here is a list of qualities that that you should look for in your friends and offer to your friends in return.

  • Trustworthiness. If you have trustworthy friends, then life is a lot easier for you. It's a lot better not having to worry about who your real friends are and aren't.
  • Honesty. You don't want a friend who is always going to lie to you. You want someone that you can be real with and them with you in return.
  • Respect. You want a friend who will respect who you are.
  • Acceptance. You want a friend who isn't going to try and change the person that you are.
  • Someone you can count on. You want a friend that you know will always be there for you through good and bad.



Ashley Nicole Martin is a junior at Volinia Outcomes School. The experiences that she has talked about have made her a better person. She has a lot of great friends now and she has come to love school again.

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