As a VinUnian, you must be familiar with the words "peer pressure".
Peer pressure, the pressure from your peers, is the feeling of self-deprecation when you see your peers do something that you can't do no matter how hard you work. This is a common psychological effect, and often has good results, which is you will work even harder to be equal to them. But, in some cases, it can severely damage your self-esteem, lead to loss of confidence in yourself, denial of all your achievements, falling into depression, or even overwork yourself.
Some people reading these may be surprised, that although peer pressure is inevitable in everyone's life, how can it be so bad? After all, we are all in the same age, same class, same upbringing, so the achievement gap certainly can't be so great that it makes one depressed, and I'm definitely overdoing the problem because I have a super fragile mentality, or I'm just trying to get fame.
If you're thinking like that, then welcome to VinUniversity, where we, the students, eat instant cake, drink free water, and breathe air filled with peer pressure to live.
That’s just a joke, we do enjoy delicious food. But the air part is real.
If you don't believe me, you can go to VinUni's Facebook page to read about the students featured there, then imagine you live and go to school with them. As soon as you wake up, you immediately meet the president of a big club. Going out, you line up, waiting to brush your teeth behind an IELTS-8.0 peer. Down from the dorm, you waved goodbye to the two Dean List’s students. On the way to the lecture hall, you meet two more who are in the President List and EXCEL. In class, you sit next to a researcher, a Master of Pharmacy, another club president, a… Well, I think that’s enough. When you get home, you eat dinner with a Research Assistant, and then when you go to bed, you say “good night” to the president of the aforementioned club. Now imagine you live like that EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
That's our life for the past three years. Don’t you dare say that I’m just paranoid or overreacting?
At VinUni, it's completely normal if your best friend suddenly becomes your boss. You will have a chance to experience their second personality that will never show you unless you are their employee - a serious, assertive, cold, difficult, and rebellious personality, similar to the image of an exemplary boss. Sometimes I think that these people are born with leadership blood, because they are so good at leadership that I, who is even older than them, can't even understand how they are able to do it.
Also, at this school, you won't be able to look down at anyone, because there’s a big chance that they'll be looking down at you in seconds. Peer pressure has become part of the air we breathe, and it puts us under extreme stress.
So, how can we deal with it?
The answer is: There is no definitive answer.
I won't say meaningless things like "don't care anymore, just live your life", because I understand very well that avoiding peer pressure is completely impossible. We can't stop the world from moving (unless you're going to bomb the world, that's another story), successful people will still succeed, and others won't stop comparing themselves to them. So, I never tried to remove peer pressure from my life, I simply got used to it. Just like how natural selection helps this world evolve, those who can adapt will survive, those who cannot adapt will be eliminated, and I...we just don't want to choose the “less bright” scenario.
If you are being tortured by peer pressure, then I want to say that I can feel you. Although no one can help you, everyone around you, including me, is carrying the same burden as yours. So we understand your pain. You can share it with us to get some relief. But, remember that the only person who can handle your burden is you, so maybe you can try to adapt, convert the stress to a motivation to work, but surely shouldn't immerse in it.
And, who knows, maybe you are a “peer-pressure generator” to them, too.
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