The 2010 Art and Essay Competition has ended. You can view results for the Art Competition here. The following essay was submitted by Grace Kudzma and was the $100 First Place Winner for grades seven and eight. This year’s theme was, “Writer’s Choice of Any Political, Economic, Theological, or Social Issue.”
2010 Essay Competition
$100 First Place Winner
Category 3 – Grades 7 & 8
All teens experience peer pressure and no matter what if they succumb to it, it always affects them negatively. Teens are pressured to fit in with the crowd or be just like the popular kids. Peer pressure compromises individuals’ bodies. The Bible says, “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19). Teenagers do not always know this. Usually when they start making these bad choices they do not think of the repercussions; this pressure is particularly hard for girls.
Teens feel pressured to drink; they think that if they drink they will look cool, because all the other kids are doing it. As they watch their friends drink and have fun, they will look cool because all the other kids are doing it. As they watch their friends drink and have fun, they try it too. Once teens start to drink, their inhibitions become lowered. They give into things they usually would not participate in, such as drugs, smoking, and sex.
Drugs are available wherever drinking is. After teens have a couple of drinks they become inebriated and stop considering what they are doing. This can also happen with smoking. Furthermore, drinking could increase the odds of having premarital intercourse, since thoughts are confused. Teens can also begin having sex from feeling excluded, or jealous of sexually active girls. They could also be afraid of rejecting an interested guy.
After teens give into all of these mistakes, their self-image starts to change. Other teens will gossip about their behavior. As the Bible recognizes, “When words are many, sin is not absent” (Proverbs 10:19). When they hear this criticism they will become insecure. This can lead to unhealthy eating disorders. Body image problems can also be caused by competition with other girls or trying to impress a guy.
With all of these problems, I think that adults or youth pastors should run more outreaches for teens. These outreaches create a closer relationship between God and teenagers. If peer pressure was discussed, more teens would get the confidence and self-esteem to say no to bad temptations.