There is a famous Chinese phase 在家靠父母 在外靠朋友 which means when we are at home, we depend on our parents but when we are away from home, we rely on our friends.
Whenever our parents are not available to help us, our friends are our best allies. They stick with us through thick and thin and help us explore the world.
However, our friends can also be a negative influence on us, especially if they often tell us to have fun rather than focus on school work and family life.
But, just how much friendships can impact on our grades?
Our friends can actually make a large impact on how we act, think and understand the world.
For the first point, your group of friends may see school as an important part of life, which is why you will all do your best to get into the schools you want. There are also friends who will say it doesn’t matter if you fail school because you can still get a good career even if you didn’t finish.
If you perform well, some of your friends will treat you negatively and even shun you. If it is just one or two friends, you may think its ok to ignore their opinion. But, if they are in your group of friends and you hold them dear to your heart, you will do your best to appease them even if it will mean poor grades. You may even subconsciously do badly in your studies so you don’t lose your friends.
Welcome to the world of peer pressure!
Under the influence of friends
There have been several attempts by experts to try and understand how friends can cause their peers to fail.
In one study, there are a couple of students who have fluctuating grades because they are in the same circle of friends. When experts examined it closely, they saw that if members of their friend circles have a high GPA, these friends will try their best to keep up. If there are friends with low GPA, they will lower their grades.
In this scenario, the study focused on large groups and not the impact of one close friend. If we look into the study, it is safe to say that our close friends will not make a similar impact on our grades. However, if our close friends suddenly disappeared on us and take up a lot of our time to help them feel better, it may affect us.
Here is another look at how our friends can influence us
1) Jealousy Among Peers
In some of our social circles, having good grades or being smart is frowned upon. It can be a reason for others to tease you and take advantage of you if you are not careful. Your so-called friends may be secretly jealous or feel threatened by your success and want to bring you down to the same level as them.
2) No directions
These social circles also have low ambition, especially on what they want to be in the future. Some of them would say that it would be better to start a family first or work first than go to school. They may influence you into agreeing not to put in hours for revisions or even to skip school.
Your friends may start labelling you as a nerd when you wanted to be the cool one in the group. This will bring your self-confidence down and affect your concentration on your studies.
1) Mutual Motivation
On the other hand, there are social circles where our friends play a positive influence. If your friends focus on school work and see why it is important, we are fuelled with the same drive to do well. If we are focused on doing well and taking academic pursuits, we tend to reach out to friends who share the same goals.
2) Positive Reinforcement
Friends who do well in school will tend to egg you on to do better in your studies and even tutor you in your weaker subjects. Instead of pursuing their dream idol or boyband, they will be chasing their passions and making sure that efforts are put into studies to make that dream career happen. Study groups with friends with positive intent will yield better results as everyone work towards the same goal.
3) Competitive Edge
Not all competitions are a bad thing. You may subconsciously want to beat your best friend’s Science test score or get ahead on your History project before the deadline. You will self-motivate to study harder and work towards that goal. Challenges among peers are good as long as they are realistic and positive.
Be mindful of your social circles
Understanding our social circles and how it works is very important. It will help us adjust our actions when we interact with our friends.
However, if we see that our friends are becoming a bad influence on our studies, it may be best to look outside our social circles. Remember, if they are your real friends, they will support you regardless of what your academic goals may be.
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