“Hey! Have you heard Coldplay just opened up a 6th show?”
You wouldn’t believe me if I told you how many times I’ve heard that from my friends in school.
Concerts are all the craze among youths. From the electrifying atmosphere to singing our favourite songs at the top of our lungs, it’s no wonder they’re so popular.
I’m a 16 year old Gen Z, and I admit I sometimes feel pressured to be part of the crowd.
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Concerts are often quite expensive, and a prime example is the upcoming concert in March 2024 by adored pop music singer Taylor Swift.
However, ticket prices can reach as high as $348 or even more when purchased from third-party websites. As a student without any source of income, this amount is unaffordable for me.
Damage to my wallet aside, I also considered whether I was a big enough fan of artists like Charlie Puth and Post Malone, who will soon make their much-awaited arrival in our little red dot.
As unrealistic as it is, I even began overthinking about my friends calling me out over not knowing the lyrics to a song during a concert.
Why would I go if the only song I know from Taylor Swift is “Love Story” from her second studio album, Fearless?
However, as much as ticket prices and competition terrified me, I couldn’t shake off the feeling of FOMO when it came to ignoring the ongoing concert rave.
Whether concerned about missing out on the concerts or not pursuing these rare opportunities for prominent artists coming to Singapore, I couldn’t decide whether to go or stay.
Peer pressure is often the driving force for young people, myself included, to follow the latest trends.
Fidget spinners, downloading TikTok, you name it. Nearly every trend I’ve picked up and dropped has been influenced by my friends in one way or another.
And when it came to concerts, you bet I wasn’t safe from the “Hey, are you going to pay to see them?” question.
Yet throughout all the temptations and pressure, I devised an “escape plan” to help stop myself from attending a concert out of impulse and cope with the peer pressure I was being nudged by daily.
To all those in the same boat as me, this one is for you.
My Escape Plan
This “plan” consisted of pursuing my hobbies alongside other Gen Zs to unwind and take my mind away from concert pressure.
- Pursuing your hobbies
One of my main hobbies is exercising (like weightlifting), which has been scientifically proven to bring not only physical benefits such as improved muscular and bone development but mental benefits as well through the release of the “happy hormone” — dopamine, during exercise.
Of course, if pumping iron isn’t your thing, there are other fantastic ways to take your mind off concerts and life’s general stresses — other hobbies, such as learning an instrument or gaming,
From pursuing these hobbies, I can tell you that pursuing a pastime and using free time helps wash away all the dilemmas and over-worrying that peer pressure brings.
Why dwell on the thought if you know concerts aren’t your thing?
- Be self-aware
The most significant cause behind that feeling of being peer pressured is engaging in the conversations themselves!
When someone opens up a conversation about new shows from an artist or their contemplation on buying tickets, it’s an open window for others to support them or provide their opinions, which may influence yours too.
You can be self-aware and pay attention to your beliefs, values and opinions.
It’s natural to be influenced to some extent by conversations, as human beings are social creatures after all. However, by being mindful and being self-aware, you can make decisions that align with your values and limitations.
- Find friends with similar opinions
When shrouded in doubt and self-questioning, it’s always good to find people with similar views to reassure you and hear you out. Once you’ve received affirmations and support for your opinion, you’ll find yourself more confident and concrete in your stand against peer pressure.
Voicing out dilemmas when sitting on the fence about things like buying concert tickets can also help you clear your mind and be more rational when making decisions. You might better understand what choice to make and be more reassured about it.
Think of it like ranting to a friend about a bad day at work!
As much as screaming my lungs out and spamming my Instagram stories with videos of the stadium crowd sounds fun, I’d prefer to sit back and watch the concerts behind a screen.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s not bad for young people to go to concerts if they are mega fans of the music artist performing. After all, singing along with friends to one’s favourite songs being performed live would be a core memory for anyone my age.
Maybe I’ll dip my feet in the concert pool when I’m older, but for now, I’ll stay in my lane when it comes to concerts.
Until my favourite music artist decides to come to Singapore, that is.