Making Good Choices

The choices you make today are setting the foundation for your future.  Staying on a positive path – and joining the majority of teens who don’t drink – will help you reach your ultimate goals and dreams.

Successful teens report that one of their biggest challenges is resisting peer pressure and the desire to “fit in.” Some of these pressure tactics may sound familiar:

  • “Come on, everyone has tried drinking.”
  • “If you won’t drink with us, then why are you hanging out with us?”
  • “We drank once before, so what’s the problem now?”
  • “Come on, take a drink. It will get you in the mood.”
  • “We’ve been working hard. We deserve to party.”

In order to stay true to your own values, sometimes it is helpful to be prepared for uncomfortable situations. Here is some of their advice formaking good choices.

Resisting Peer Pressure

Have some simple answers ready so that you can resist peer pressure
without making a big scene or issue about it. If you answer in a natural tone of voice, your friends may not even notice. Try practicing:

  • Simple one-liners: “It’s just not for me; it’s not what I want,” “I don’t drink,” or “no thanks.”
  • Offering an alternative: “I’d rather have soda.”
  • Making an excuse: “I have a test to study for tomorrow.”
  • Giving a short explanation: “I really just don’t like the taste.”
  • Changing the subject

Here’s something else to think about: If your friends are pressuring you to drink, are they really good friends? Friendship should be based on respect, caring, and trust. A true friend is someone who wants you to be safe and happy.

The Future Is In Your Hands

Remember, not everyone is drinking. Less than 30 percent of teens have had a drink in the past month. And only 20 percent of teens binge drink.  That means the majority of teens don’t do it.

As a teen, you have so much to look forward to – graduating, pursuing a career, having a family. High school is only a few years. The choices you make today will impact your entire life. Take a stand against underage drinking to give yourself, and the people you love, the best head start.