Tell us about a time you bent under peer pressure.
I remember it so vividly. I was in second grade. There was a girl that nobody really liked, or even talked to. But I was friends with her. She and I played soccer together. Her dad was the coach. I would go over to her house on the weekends and play with her and her siblings. She would sometimes come over to my house, too. She moved away after third grade, and I completely lost touch with her. I remember her name, her siblings names, but for the life of me, I cannot remember her last name. Either way, I wouldn't share it here.
In second grade, four desks were pushed together to make a small group. This girl, my friend, was part of my group, along with two boys. I remember their names, too. They were part of the "cool" group. Isn't it amazing how early cliques start? These boys, that were in the "cool" group were even in the "cool" group throughout high school.
The girl of our table group had gone to ask the teacher a question to get help with one of the math problems. The "cool" boys thought it would be funny if, when she returned to her spot, all of her pencils and crayons were missing from her desk. Since I was the one that sat next to her, they asked if I would take her things out of her desk.
My second grade self bent to the peer pressure and did it. I took her box of crayons. I took her two pencils. I even took her box of markers. I put them on my lap, and scooted close to my desk. Her writing utensils were hidden. She'd have no way to complete her work.
She came back to her desk with her paper and nothing to write with. The boys laughed. She opened her desk and searched for something, anything. The boys laughed more. I saw that look on her face. The sad, confused, hurt look.
Man, I felt horrible. I felt like such a mean person. How could I do that? I was her friend!
I gave them back to her before she even sat down. I apologized profusely. I even drew her a picture, and played with her on the playground like I did every other day.
That was one of the last times I allowed my peers to persuade me to do something that I knew would hurt someone. Of course, high school rolled around and there were other times that I was pressured to do things. I usually held my ground. Especially when my heart was telling me, screaming at me, to do the right thing.
Like it did in second grade. When I didn't listen.
I listen now. I've listened ever since.