One of the biggest threats to you reaching your career goals is peer pressure, so you have to learn how to navigate it right now so it doesn’t derail your career. This is true no matter where you are on your career path, but if you’re still in college, you need to figure out how to quell your desire for peer acceptance right now.

When you’re in college, your focus should be on earning decent grades, finding the right internships, networking, running a side hustle, or otherwise setting yourself up for career success after you graduate. Your eye should be on the prize and not on becoming the campus-wide beer pong champion.

At the very least, don’t fall into these peer pressure, career-derailing traps while in college:

Cutting class

We all have that one friend that loves to cut class. They always have something fun and exciting to do that’s a lot more tantalizing than sitting in class listening to another boring lecture. Unfortunately, cutting class is one of the biggest mistakes college freshmen make and it’s not just freshmen who make this bad decision. In your senior year, where you should be focused entirely on networking and making sure you have a job when you graduate, a lot of college students ditch class for dumb reasons.

When you feel the urge to cut class, remember that classes are temporary. You’ll soon graduate and never have to worry about grades or lectures again. Live in the moment that you’ve crafted for career success and get to class.

Rock ‘n Roll All Night, and Party Every Day

Don’t fall into the party trap. We get it—you are surrounded by parties in college, especially on the weekends. It’s fine to let loose once in awhile, but beware your lowered inhibitions while drinking. Your friends might convince you to do some very stupid things, like drinking and driving. Before you know it, you’re facing a DUI charge, and having to hire a defense attorney like those found at to fight your corner.

Instead, when friends are pressuring you to party when you really should be studying, interning, networking, and planning for your career, just say “no.” You likely won’t remember the party later anyway, so you’re not missing out on as much as you think.

Breaking the Rules

Navigating your career will mean sometimes playing by the rules and other times breaking every single rule to disrupt an industry. Knowing when to break the rules comes with maturity, bravery, and clear vision.

However, breaking rules while in college can get you expelled, which is super tough to explain to an employer. We get it—your dorm mate snuck in a hot plate, or wants to sneak in boys after curfew. As you can see from, overnight visitors are usually a no-go. They can get you kicked out of the dorm, and possibly the entire university.

The point is, if you’re in college, now is the time to learn to say “no” when peers ask you to do things you know are wrong. In the real world, you will be asked to do things you know are wrong, too. Learn to say “no” early so you have a solid career later!

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