Peer pressure happens in every high school and middle school in the country, and is pretty much a part of growing up. Being pressured by your peers can be difficult and even stressful…it’s hard sometimes to go against the group and stand up for your beliefs and what you know is right. Here are 5 pointers that may help: 1. Hang out with people who share your beliefs about healthy living. True friends would respect how you feel and not try to pressure you into anything that didn’t feel right to you. 2. Join a club or a sports team. Keeping yourself busy with school and extracurricular activities will help you avoid boredom and be around people who share your interests. 3. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, get out! If you are hanging out after school or at a party on the weekend and someone offers you drugs or alcohol, make an excuse to leave and walk away. 4. If you find yourself cornered, crack a joke. The kids doing the pressuring won’t know what to do with someone who doesn’t take them seriously. 5. Keep in touch with an adult. If you feel like you can’t get yourself out of a situation, turn to a trusted adult for help or advice. You’ve probably heard all this before, but that’s because these things actually work! Saying no to peer pressure once makes it easier the next time and lets people know more about who you are. Your pressurers will come to understand that you are a self-confident person who thinks for yourself, even if they don’t say it to your face.