Smoking at university: is there any pressure to do it?

Going to university means mixing with hundreds of new people and being introduced to countless new experiences. But, as ever, it remains your choice if you want to experiment with your options or not. Peer-pressure is something that is always talked about when you’re younger, and it seems to be mentioned in a lot of pop culture, and I was worried about it when I started uni. Smoking at university is prevalent but not once have I ever felt pressured to smoke. If your friends go out to the smoking area for a break during a night out, but you don’t want to smoke, then don’t.

In my experience, you’ll be offered one or to share one, but if you say no then that’s that. If you change your mind, then that’s fine, but peer pressure isn’t as ubiquitous a problem as it’s made out to be. Most people just don’t care and tend to respect your choices. While this obviously isn’t in regard to everything, for smoking, it tends to be pretty chill. Besides, cigarettes are expensive, especially on a student budget, so it’s more likely that your friends will be grateful that they don’t have to share.

If there is an instance wherein you feel pressured into smoking with your friends, you could use any number of excuses, like you’ve got a cold coming and don’t want to spread your germs, or you don’t want to exacerbate your cough. If at any point you feel uncomfortable then just nip to the toilet or go for another drink. It’s highly unlikely that all of your new friends will smoke, so if worst comes to worst just say inside and dance to the bangers with your other mates.

Not everyone who goes to the smoking area actually goes for a cigarette. It’s often just a cooler place to recover from dancing where you can actually hear what your friends are saying. So don’t feel like you have to smoke just because you’re out there! University is about experiencing and trying new things, but if you don’t want to do something you most likely won’t be pressured into it. In terms of smoking, in my experience, it isn’t something that you should feel concerned about.

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