The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

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The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

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Freshmen rushing to grow up

It’s a Wednesday night and my Facebook is buzzing with talk of plans for the upcoming weekend. Most of the names are familiar, but the group chat size has doubled from last year’s and filled with people I haven’t spoken to in months. Nobody has offered up their house or specified an occasion, but messages urge someone to host a party and provide alcohol.

Never before this year has hanging out with friends seemed to come with so much pressure. Everyone has told us that high school is our time to grow and discover who we want to be, but I feel, now more than ever, like I need to fit in with what others are doing. It has been less than four months, and I am already getting tired of hoping that I will do things “right.” Is it all worth it?

Though they were quiet and, at times, awkward, middle school parties stood no risk to my comfort zone. All of a sudden, the group mentality has changed. Long gone are the video games and movies we are used to, replaced now by the loud music and alcohol that has been attributed to high school parties for as long as I can remember.

As newcomers to high school, it’s not hard to figure out why some freshmen feel the need to rush to catch up; we spent middle school comparing our “parties” to the ones that we saw High School students attending, and maybe we feel like they are our rite of passage. Maybe we want to fit in with this new group of older students that we’ve so suddenly been introduced to, and we feel that acting like them will make us more a part of the High School.

Whatever the reason, I feel like many of my peers are forcing themselves and others to partake just because everyone else is. Friends of mine who have made it clear that they don’t want to drink are still encouraged to do so and occasionally teased for their choice. Peer pressure, something that has never really been present in our grade, has started to arise out of this new perception of what is cool and what isn’t.

It seems to me that we are now more concerned with what we feel like we should be doing at this point in our lives, rather than what we actually want to do. As a class, we need to remember that we have plenty of time.  We will repeatedly have the opportunity to do everything we’re so desperate to get over with now, when we’re mature enough (and legal).

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