When I joined school for higher education, I met this lady. She seemed to be the model of whom I wanted to be when I grow up. She had an expensive phone, wore very impressively and had the handbags I always wanted to buy when I begin working.
I would admire her very much. I wanted to be like her. So I began going for window shopping. I saw the price of the stuff she possessed and I couldn’t help but wonder how rich she was. Or may be she was one of the politician’s kid, you know… I attempted to raise some cash and buy the kind of shoes she wore. This saw me use all my pocket money.
I almost got frustrated as I tried to measure up to the standards of this girl who seemed to be living my dream life. Then I discovered something… I wasn’t alone. All the ladies in my class began buying clothes like hers, carrying beautiful handbags like the ones she had… I wondered how come suddenly people changed their wardrobe. May be they got some part time employment that enabled them finance such kind of a life, you may never know.
As I continued with my observations, I discovered something else. The girls not only groomed like her, but they also took her behavior. Their talk would go something like this, “Oh mi gosh! That party was dope. Si we’ll ishia for the next one this weekend?” (Oh my God! That party was awesome. Can we go for the next one this weekend?) Now that began to sound annoying. It was more annoying to walk behind them. They all had a similar walking style, had their faces painted all colors and resembled something close to the Crown Paints advert and had clothes that began too late and ended too early, or were just openly revealing.
“Welcome to campus life! We are the hot girls who set the trend. You join us and enjoy life or walk away from us and your life is miserable. We are the people who know the latest in fashion and music world. And before we forget… Drinking is cool! Forget about the crap you heard about the bottle when growing up. You may also want to try some smoking. Not cigarettes of course. Nay. We are talking about something stronger… Don’t worry about books. We are here to enjoy life first. We’ll find our way into passing the exams. Before we forget, we can hook you up with this cool guy we met. Damn! Don’t he have money!”
I knew it was time to flee. To hell with the seemingly good life. I needed to slay this monster. The monster of wanting to fit in. The monster that made me feel inferior just because I wasn’t having a ‘good’ life. It made me compare myself with others. It made me feel like my life was boring.
So I slayed it and moved on. Am doing better than the rich girl. At least I’ve not been dumped severally. I haven’t had a lot of lies to hide. Oh, and the burden of living a lie and putting on masks- I haven’t had to carry it.
Peer pressure my people, peer pressure… That’s what we’ve been talking about. Beware!