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  • Writer's pictureIsabela Camargos

To what extent does peer pressure influence political opinions during the election year?

Everyone’s common goal is, and has always been, to fit in. To be accepted, to be part of something bigger than oneself. The question is, how far would people go with that in mind? It’s election year in Brazil and for many the first opportunity to vote on the country’s future. By voting, citizens are making their choice of leaders to represent them and their ideas. Because of this, it is important to keep in mind how to vote consciously, having studied beforehand, and not succumb to groupal political opinions in order to be and feel accepted.

People have their own ideas and perceptions on what is best for the country, portraying their role as citizens. All deserve the same amount of credit and respect, despite whatever these ideas might be. However, before promoting politics, it is crucial to study the governmental proposals and what they would actually mean if implemented into society, making sure the choice is being made right and studying its possible outcomes. Simply following trusted friends and family members on this matter is not enough, as they most likely made personal choices that reflect their own preferences.

It is even more necessary, however, for people to stay true to themselves and their individual opinions. Nobody should feel obligated to have a certain mindset simply because it is the one promoted in their household, even though it might appear that way. There are enough research methods available for every member of society - even for children, teenagers, and mostly first-hand voters - to form their own conclusions without being influenced.

Going against the tide with family and friends, resisting peer pressure, is difficult and stressful. But the choice on who to vote on is ultimately personal and secretive; everyone is free to bear their own thoughts on polemic matters such as politics, and this should be more commonly emphasized. If someone is sure of what they believe in, they are capable of not being guilted into submitting to others’ ideals. And as hard as it may seem to go on a lonely path with a different mindset, being the first to explore something comes with the possibility of leaving a trail.

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