Social pressures prove harmful to self-esteem

Carolina Rodriguez, co-opinions editor

Adolescence is known as the most carefree era of our lives.

We can hang out with friends without a care in the world. But it is also one of the most difficult and confusing times of our lives because of social pressures such as, in my case, school dances that can create internal pressures within us. Social pressures are probably the number one thing contributing to my teenage nightmare. Homecoming weighs on my mind the most.

Although I do love getting dressed up and dancing with my friends, homecoming has its stressful downfalls, specifically the emphasis on having a date. My number one fear freshman year was not getting a date.

All of the  talk about having a corsage and ordering a boutonniere further drilled in the idea that a date is “imperative”.I placed so much pressure on myself to find a date that I forgot to think about myself.

I was so stressed about finding someone that I forgot to make a hair appointment and I ended up straightening my hair myself.

Aside from fretting about being dateless, I was stressed about my dress. I was so focused on choosing a style and color that coordinated with the other girls in my group so I would not be singled out.

I never thought about what I wanted to wear to please myself. I wore what I thought would please others and wouldn’t make my outfit the topic of whispers behind my back.

In the end, I was left with the memory of someone else, a character made up to please others. I forgot about myself. I forgot about who I was and what I, Carolina, wanted.

This homecoming had a completely different mindset. I bought a dress that I was absolutely in love with and genuinely enjoyed myself.

I made myself a hair appointment.

I got the dress that I wanted.

I learned to do things that benefit me, to please myself before pleasing others.

Often, we make untrue assumptions and only end up hurting ourselves. For example, Is she mad at me? Are they giggling about me?

We injure our self-esteem by assuming that we can read everyone’s mind and build this imaginative reality of what we assume is happening. If we start believing that these made up assumptions are true then we act on them.

We will try to change the bad qualities we think that others see us having.

These insecurities created by social pressures such as homecoming can lead to us making assumptions about ourselves and how we are perceived. It just starts this cycle of self hatred and self consciousness.

The only way to break it is to stay true to yourself.

Do what YOU want to do.

In reality, people are all so focused on their own perception of themselves that they don’t have the time to judge others since they think that they are being judged.

If you are focused on yourself and being the truest version of you, your confidence will improve and be strong enough to shut down those evil assumptions.

After all, the way that YOU perceive yourself is the only opinion that matters. Stay true to who you are.

If you are always trying to mold into someone else for others, you will regret it. You are your biggest supporter, so do not become your own worst enemy.

Teen years are given the connotation of freedom when in reality things like social pressures trap us in our own assumptions that only hurt us. So do not live out the best years of someone else’s life.

Be confident, be the real you, it will make adolescence a lot easier because… it’s brutal out here.