Friends & Peers

Above the Crowd

Be Your Own Person
During high school, you may hear your friends, parents, or even a coach tell you to “just be yourself” – but what does that really mean? Knowing who you are and what you believe in is important. Recognizing the influences in your life (both good and bad) makes it easier for you to make important choices about who to hang out with and whether or not to try drugs or alcohol.

There is a complicated list of reasons why people try or use drugs. Some people do it to change the way they feel. Sometimes people use drugs to go along with the crowd and cover up their insecurities. Consider this — former users often say that drugs ended up isolating them from friends and family and made them feel even more alone.

Instead of going along with what some people are doing, you could spend more of your energy on you – your style, your viewpoints, and your own way of doing things. You can’t control what another person thinks about you. Isn’t it more worthwhile to work on what you think about yourself, and not try to shape someone else’s impression of you?

Just be yourself and hang with friends who encourage you to be who you are, and not who they want you to be.

And don’t be too hard on yourself—you may be your toughest critic. Hang out with people who support you and be careful of people who are all about negativity.