Peer passion, not pressure
The desire to follow footsteps of a group can be quite compelling.
It is the most basic human nature – to be with like-minded people, to be a part of the society is to be ‘secured’ about one’s own validations. “Oh I need to be where they are so that we all can benefit from each other”.
This DNA-driven ‘need’ to be a part of group for sense of security usually turns into the ‘want’ to do what they are doing too. “They are doing it so I must too”.
This is peer pressure.
The latest iPhone, the trending hairstyle, and even education – to do what others are doing becomes a compulsion. To be SEEN doing what they are becomes the most important necessity!
The gadgets can come and go and the hair can grow back, but the choice of country, university, specialization of higher education must never be an outcome of peer pressure.
Your friends or someone you look up to may have opted for a MBA program, or a specialization in Architecture. Perhaps they too have made their choice under pressure perhaps not. In any case the choice is theirs and theirs only.
Following is fine as long as it is on Instagram, Facebook or such. Not when it comes to education.
Pause. Gather your thoughts. Try to see the outcome of making a choice that is not even yours – a choice that is driven out of a temporary compulsion for validation.
What are YOU passionate about? Business? Architecture? Engineering? History? Arts? Or some other specialization. Choose what you are confident in excelling, a subject that hooks your interest. And THEN figure out, if at all, to know which friends are pursuing that same specialisation.
Even then, the country your friends choose for their education aspirations may not be necessarily appropriate for your ambitions.
Let’s say you have decided to pursue one of the S.T.E.M programs at a university in the U.S. Can your friends afford to make the same choice? Can YOU afford to change YOUR decision just because your peers can’t or won’t be in the same college / university?
You will lose some friends along the way. You will make plenty of new ones. The ones that really matter will stay for life. This is an undeniable fact.
Be as passionate about your education, career as you are for your friends, but please… Do not fall into the peer-pressure trap!