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                                                                                                                                -Radhika Agarwal 

I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee

A NALSAR alumnus had once told me that happiness is a difficult choice that one makes in a law school like NALSAR. At that time, I was unable to fully understand what he meant.

However, after spending almost half a decade in the place, I now realize the significance of his words…

My law school journey has by no means been an easy ride for me, and I attribute this to the strong “peer pressure” that I have felt time and again in college. I have no set definition of the term as peer pressure can manifest itself in various forms such as the pressure to perform well academically, moot, have a group of “friends” to bitch with and to bitch about, intern in well-known places, get a placement in a law firm, etcetera.

 I believe that most people succumb to this kind of pressure because it is the easier way out, and definitely seems to make life “easier” in a college where the student community being a small one necessarily lives, eats and studies together.

For instance, it is tempting to agree with the opinions of one’s peers (even though inwardly one may beg to differ) for fear of being singled out as the one with “unconventional” beliefs. Although one may feel that he is not cut out for a corporate job, one may still try to get such a job merely because everybody else around him is sweating it out at a firm.  Thus, it seems easier to tread a conventional career path which looks safer and more risk-free.

Sadly but luckily (note the paradox here), I have been a part of those very few people who have resisted pressure from their peers. While initially I strived for the same things my peers did in the hope of “proving” myself before them, I eventually realized that I had come to law school not to please my peers, but in the hope of learning and making something of myself. As a person who has given in to peer pressure at times, I know that trying to please everybody doesn’t lead one anywhere.

While I agree that peer pressure itself is unavoidable in any competitive University, I believe that it can only  influence a person to the extent that it is allowed to. Ultimately, one has the choice to be happy and do things he genuinely wants to.

Rather than seeming happy and successful according to someone else, it is more rewarding to have one’s own definition of happiness and to stick to it!

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