Peer pressure is defined as ‘the influence of members from one’s social group’. This influence can be in the form of what we are expected to achieve even in our academic and/or professional life. As the world becomes more and more globalised the younger generation is also provided with more and more opportunities. For them, these opportunities also come with a lot of pressure.
People around us constantly discussing their college plans, startup ideas, job offers etc. can make us feel like we are not doing enough. This along with pressure from our families can instil a fear of failure in us, increasing anxiety levels and giving higher chances of a psychological malaise. This fear can unconsciously affect our academic and social life, believing that we are unworthy can make us take rash decisions. But why do we seem most impacted by this, not people older than us? The generations before us did not face the same competition that we do. Getting into colleges and recruited for jobs is harder now than ever. As a result of this teenage and young adult anxiety rates have drastically increased. India is reported to have one of the highest suicide rates in the world, with Indian parents putting many expectations and comparing their children to others’ some are not able to cope. Parents often take extreme measures to ensure their children are the best: cutting the internet off, taking their phone away and in some cases abuse. In these circumstances we are led to believe our world should revolve around achieving what is thought to be the best. We and our society have very different meanings of ‘the best’.
However, I think every individual should have a different and personalised idea of fulfilment and achievement. Successful is a subjective term, it should be defined by you, something you set for yourself and not to impress your parents or anyone else around you. What you choose to do with your life should not need validation from anyone but you, at the end of the day you are going to be the only one who has to live with your own decisions for the entirety of their life. The day we work hard to reach the expectations we set for ourselves is the day we are going to feel true satisfaction.