Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013, 6:00 am

Letter: Why it’s important teens choose their friends wisely

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Peer pressure is a powerful force that targets people of all ages, but especially today's teens.

For teenagers, "fitting in" can seem very important, and too often teens do what everyone else is doing in order to fit in -- or at least not stand out.

As a result, peer pressure often nudges young people into doing things that they do not want to do in order to gain acceptance from their friends.

When under the attack of peer pressure, most teens hear that little voice in the back of their head telling them that what they are about to do is wrong, but instead choose to ignore their conscience and follow the crowd, knowing that they would be classified as "uncool" if they choose not to participate.

Unfortunately, in today's society, taking a stand and saying "no" to alcohol, sex, and drugs could result in being permanently labeled as a social reject by many of one's so-called friends.

What most teens fail to realize is that real friends want what is best for you and would not lead you down a path that could potentially harm you and destroy your future. It has been said that we are who our friends are; therefore, we must all choose our friends wisely.

Kaitlyn Schadt,
East Moline