Social groups can define who you are. As social creatures, we all want to feel like we belong to a group. But sometimes groups can influence individuals to make bad decisions, and these decisions can have pretty far-reaching consequences. Fortunately, there are a few ways for you to fit in without compromising yourself or your future.
Get Involved In Academic Groups or Sports
You might be thinking there’s nothing about academics or sports which interests you, but that might be because you haven’t looked closely enough. There are plenty of disciplines and there’s bound to be something that piques your interest. Schools typically try to facilitate those interests by offering extracurricular clubs. This kind of social group would equip you well for the future and keeps you busy enough to keep you out of trouble.
An ethic-centric person is somebody who thinks about what’s right and tries to live by it. That doesn’t mean you have to be a goody-two-shoes, but if your friends are doing something that could hurt themselves or others, you should abstain or try to stop them. This could be something as simple as ditching a class in school or as drastic as drinking and driving. A gentle reminder to be careful could save your friends and others, and they might even thank you later for interfering.
A way to fit in without hurting your future would be to hang out for a while, and then when things get out of hand (someone pulls out a joint–or people start making out heavily), simply leave. Don’t announce it, just go. Text them later if needed, saying you didn’t feel comfortable and left.
Be Careful About Pictures You Send
Many young adults don’t know how to handle negative emotions. After a breakup, they might try to take revenge on an ex they’re upset with. For example, if you sent explicit pictures to your ex, they could use that against you. It doesn’t matter how trustworthy you think your partner is; a lot of people trust their partners only to find those photos on the internet after the relationship ended. Don’t become a statistic.
Fit in by sending flirty or cute pics, but never nude ones.
Don’t Skip Classes
Don’t skip class. There’s not a lot to do between 8 AM and 2 PM anyway, so you’re really not missing much of the social scene by sitting in class. While it might sound cliché, your education really will define your future. If you fall too far behind, it could take years to catch up, and that’s how some people end up living in poverty.
In this case, you cannot really fit in with the class ditchers except by hanging out with them after school. But do you really need to hang out with this type of crowd?
Control Your Emotions
This is probably the most significant thing you can do. Emotions can be useful, but they can also be destructive when they influence your decisions. A bad emotional decision could lead to you getting pregnant at a young age or something equally life-altering, like physically hurting someone. Try to think through your decisions as if you weren’t so influenced by emotion. Fit in by interacting with others, but don’t get caught up in the drama. Again, just leave or make yourself less available. If you find things to keep you busy, such as art, music, dance, martial arts, etc. you will have all the excuses in the world to not get involved in the b.s.
You don’t have to choose between your future and fitting in with your friends now. However, you do need to make wise decisions, and by following this advice, you’ll be off to a great start.