Peer Pressure: influence from members of one’s peer group. Whether peer pressure comes from a family member, friend, or even stranger, it can affect one’s life- either positively or negatively. After interviewing a few students from Scheck Hillel, I got their input to answer my question; how do you define peer pressure, and is it dangerous? Freshman Gabriel Sredni says, “Peer pressure is when your friends or loved ones put pressure on you to perform an action that you don’t want to do. Peer pressure in my opinion almost always leads you into harmful paths.” Those that surround someone have a major impact on what that person’s reputation looks like. Your friends can either bring down your image or highlight you as an important and sophisticated person in society. Freshman Joe Stern says, “I agree that your friends have an influence on who you are as a person, but in my life, I feel as though I am a strong individual who steers away from peer pressure and only listens to my mind. I use soccer as an outlet when I feel as though the pressure grows too high.” Finding an after-school activity or a hobby that one enjoys always has a positive effect on one’s life. If the pressures of society rise too high, one can disappear and focus on doing the things that they love. In a positive light, friends can stand as role models to some- whether to push you to focus more in school, or get involved with an activity they know you will enjoy. Though at the moment these pressures may seem annoying, in the end, they will have positive outcomes. Freshman Eitan Gallego says, “My friends stand as a positive reminder as they constantly push me to focus more in school and continue to give it my all.” Eitan continues to say that if he feels that those he’s around are beginning to get him into trouble, he distances himself from those individuals because he recognizes that in the end, his own life is harmed. Senior Alan Weiner says, “Peer pressure is the act of someone forcing you to do something that you are not comfortable doing yourself. Peer pressure can be both positive and negative. Let’s say if someone is pushing you to take a risk that will benefit you, it means that this person is only looking out for you. When it comes to pressuring you into doing something that will harm your body and health and affects you in a negative way, it falls under the category of negative peer pressure.” Junior Mia Ackerman agrees with Alan and continues on to say, “When you feel that you are tempted towards the negative peer pressure, you should take a step back, reevaluate, and think ahead on what the consequences may be.” Throughout the interviews, there were similar responses as the students of Scheck Hillel all recognize the negative and positive effects of peer pressure and what defines these challenging two words. Again, those around you have the power to elevate you in life and help guide to towards the perfect world. However, these same people have full control in having an impact on who you are as a person- what characteristics you have and what will be told to strangers who ask about you. A topic spoken greatly about at Scheck Hillel with full seriousness is the discussion regarding vaping. Vaping, along with many others, falls under the category of negative peer pressure. Whether the pressure may be occurring at a party, or at a friend’s house, your friends have the ability to tempt you with this device. As the students said, it is important to find a hobby that consumes your day or build up the strength to know what is wrong and what is right. At the moment, one may not fully understand what consequences are to come, but it is important to remove yourself from the situations that you deem as harmful. Highlight and focus on different areas that will place you in positive situations that will lead to positive outcomes in life.