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Combating Peer Pressure in College

September 26th, 2019
By Lindsay Fay read
Posted in Culture

Combating Peer Pressure in CollegeI’ll never forget the day my freshman year of college friend, Jessica, found out I was planning to save sex for marriage. “So you’re telling me you would never test drive a car before buying it?”  Looking back on that encounter now, I think of all the ways I could have responded. Back then, however, I kinda just stumbled over my words. People and cars are not the same thing and equating driving one to marital intimacy with your spouse is a huge misunderstanding of the purpose of love and sex.

Looking back now, I know this girl had a deep confusion about her own goodness. We don’t need to “perform” well to be worthy of a lifelong commitment. While this friend is no longer in my life I can’t help but wonder, what if we had stayed friends? What if her own ideas and thoughts began to seep into my worldview? What if I conformed to think like this friend to fit into my former social scene?

Are you heading to college in the fall? Or maybe you’re a young professional in the world and just haven’t found a community that affirms your values. There is a temptation to conform our ideas when we believe there isn’t anyone out there who thinks the same way. During my first year of college, I believed that if I thought or acted differently than my friends I would be all alone in my dorm room on a Saturday night waiting for life to be fun and exciting. But, the fact of the matter is, I just hadn’t found the right people.

How can you avoid peer pressure in college pertaining to things like sex? Knowing the facts, standing for truth, and finding good community are tools that will set you up for success.

Know the Facts

Regardless of how rampant the hookup culture appears, there are people choosing to live the virtue of chastity! There’s a perception that every college student prescribes by a no strings attached casual hookup lifestyle but statistics tell us otherwise. Research has found that college students do not have more frequent sex or more sexual partners than undergraduates in previous eras. You are not alone or crazy for desiring authentic love that is not cheapened by use. Only about 15% of college students actually enjoy hooking up and about ⅓ of college students will not hook up at all their entire college career.

Standing By Your Commitment

It was in college that my commitment to chastity began to be fully practiced. I received a lot of questions from friends at the time. I had to constantly remind myself of the emptiness of living amidst the hookup culture and the pain that comes from being used. There came a point when I had to make a decision that was for my greatest good and own what I believed. Let me tell you, even though it’s been a few years and my conviction is stronger today, it’s still a daily choice to rise above the peer pressure of our culture and make choices that honor my dignity.

Find and Walk With Authentic Friends

My life changed forever when I encountered Wonderfully Made, a women’s ministry on my campus. Not only did it provide deep healing from the lies I believed, but through it, I found a community of women who loved and embraced me for exactly who I was! One of the most important aspects of college is finding friends to walk with and who will help you grow in virtue. It is a lie to believe that there is no one on campus who holds the same ideals. They’re out there, but it will involve a little bit of seeking. Go to some club meetings, see if your campus has a Newman Club, pro-life club, or other faith-based clubs! This will help you stay away from peer pressure and find like-minded people who will become some of your greatest friends.

You are made for greatness, my prayer for you is that you would never settle because it’s popular, comfortable, and convenient.

About the Author

Lindsay Fay is a 2015 graduate of Santa Clara University with a BA in Religious Studies. She grew up in Southern California and began ministering to her peers about the faith in high school. Lindsay met The Culture Project while serving as an intern for the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia. As she found such profound healing in the area of sexual integrity, she dreamed of a way to impart these messages to her peers. She then felt a calling to join the mission of The Culture Project. "All it takes is one joyful witness of virtue to change the heart of a young person, and I desire to be that witness."

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