Peer pressure drives academic success

Karen Pipek, Connect Editor

As report cards are passed out, sophomore Alaina Warshowsky compares her grades to those of her peers.

“When I see my friends get good grades it makes me want to study more to get better grades than I do,” Warshowsky said.

Peer pressure to succeed affects students in different ways.

“[Peer pressure to succeed] allows me to be surrounded by the people who are just as smart [as me], making me want to do the best that I can,” eighth-grader Carly Mackler said. “Although, if I went to another school I might say a lot of people did as bad as me.”

Guidance counselor Glenda Lovell says peer pressure to succeed sets West Shore apart from most other schools.

“Most kids come here because education is important to them,” Lovell said. “When there’s a group where all the people strive to be the best, then there’s going to be more competition.”

Peer pressure to succeed often pushes students to strive to go to four-year universities rather than community college.

“This school prepares me for the course load for a four-year university,” senior Daniel Urban said. “At a four-year university, the courses offered are much more rigorous. To me, going to [Brevard Community College] is the easy way out.”

Senior Ashley Wenger says she wouldn’t want to attend BCC for other reasons.

“If I stayed home for a few years after graduating, I wouldn’t be able to leave, I’m such a daddy’s girl,” Wenger said. “That’s why I’m going straight to a four-year university after high school’s over.”

Senior Jordan Dorsch, on the other hand, says community college is the right path after graduating.

“A diploma is a diploma, I’m just staying at BCC for my [Associate in Arts Degree],” she said. “Whether I get it here or at the University of Florida, it’s the same thing.”

Warshowsky says students here are more determined to do well compared to students at other schools.

“The students at West Shore care more about their grades than students at other schools,” Warshowsky said. “Therefore, it helps West Shore’s great reputation.”

But senior Amy Mosher says her peers don’t affect her success.

“I don’t really think I get affected by peer pressure because I care enough on my own for it not to matter,” she said.

With the pressure to succeed, students can potentially be impacted in negative ways as well.

“I think it may push [students] to try to improve,” Mackler said. “Or it may do the complete opposite.”

Warshowsky agrees.

“Peer pressure affects those who don’t excel as much by really trying to make an effort to do well in school and go the extra mile to get good grades,” Warshowsky said.

Lovell says any student has the power to perform as well as their peers.

“I don’t think brains [have to do] with success,” Lovell said. “If [students] still have a strong work ethic and desire, even with a lower IQ, they can be just as successful.”

Mackler maintains a positive outlook.

“I know what I am able to do and I do that,” she said. “I do the best I can and that’s all that matters.”