Of Peer Pressure
ALL IMAGES: PRATIK KARKI
Anu Ghimire, 19
Vandana Poddas, 19
Rijan Lal Mulmi, 18
Anubrat Prasai, 17
Pravesh KC, 19
Sauhagya Joshi, 19
Did all of you have a rough idea or plan for your future? Did you make the decision under pressure?
Anu: Initially, there was the pressure for applying to colleges abroad but after thorough calculations and thinking I made the decision to graduate here.
Vandana: I am graduating in a few years and am happy with the decision I made. There was no pressure.
Rijan: I have completed high school and am taking a year off. It was a calculated decision, no pressure whatsoever.
Anubrat: I am also taking a year off before applying to colleges. I work as a teaching assistant and am also taking foreign language class. No pressure, just my decision.
Pravesh: Right now I'm preparing for the entrance exams for a reputed college here. Lets see how things go. But yes I did loose a few months here and there hanging out with my friends, it was a sort of mutual pact between us.
Saubhagya: I wanted to study electronics am I'm studying in the college I wanted to go. I was a bit lost before but its not that I take pressure as such.
Talking of colleges, what is it with this trend of taking a gap year?
Anubrat: I want to build up my portfolio, get involved in more ECA so I have a better chance of getting into a good college in the US. I don't know if it is, but even if it is a trend, its a good one.
Rijan: Its a matter of personal choice actually. Its not like before anymore, you don't get anywhere with just books, pen and paper. For me, its also about self-discovery, growing up. I want to travel around the country in the year that I take off, get to know the country. And at 19 or 20, you cant afford to get influenced by what others are doing.
Anu: But its not to say that those that don't take a gap year will miss out much. Some people just find it easier to get on with life without stopping. Again as Rijan said, its about choice and also individual capacity.
Can peer pressure work positively? Any instances.
Anubrat: It can actually. For instance, I listen to the classical genre but my friends listen to other kind of music. Just so that I could hold up a conversation, I listened to every possible music genre out there. Ditto with sports. This is positive in the sense that it helps you mix in and that's important.
Vandana: I think it works best when you need a push with something you really want to do but don't have enough guts or energy to. It can work as a confidence booster in those times.
Do you think the pressure diminishes after as you become older?
Rijan: Yes. I think after you reach a certain age, you have to start making decision on your own. People always say different things but eventually, it is you who have to make the final choice.
Anubrat: Not necessarily. Situations may change and the issues may change but there always pressure. For example, my grandma insisted on going on pilgrimage after seeing the neighbours go for it. You can never outgrow pressure.
Saubhagya: But maybe as you grow, only people that really matter and mean well will remain. So even if there is pressure in making decisions, it can only be positive.
How do you overcome it?
Anu: You have to know that everyone will keep telling you what to do. But it ultimately boils down to how you want to do things.
Pravesh: Guidance from parents and friends is necessary but the rest is up to you.
Rijan: We have to think of ourselves as free independent beings. And at this point in life, we actually do start to become all of that.