A recent study led by Cheryl Carmichael from the University of Rochester shows that having plenty of friends in your 20s could lead to a better life in the future—and could even have an impact on your life some thirty years later.
It seems that “having a lot of connections makes you feel better and it makes you a better person.” These “connections” do not even have to be all good because the interaction with every person you meet is always educational, never mind that the experience might not be pleasant. This means you learn from each person you meet, whether the experience was good or bad.
What’s great about having lots of friends while you are young is that you can have fun with a lot of people. Great social connections can greatly improve your life because ideally, of course, there is always someone you can talk to or lean on in times of need.
On the other hand, the study also discovered that having poor connections in your 20s could lead to loneliness and depression. This could be potentially harmful as loneliness could lead to binge eating which could cause obesity, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, chain smoking, and even depression which could possibly lead to death.
Further study needs to be conducted since 1) the study only made use of a small sample group, 2) it only focused on inter-person interactions, and 3) “hanging out” with friends these days does not need physical presence because you can easily “meet” and talk online.
The study warns, however, that having lots of friends does not always count much when you get older because “quality” is often much better than “quantity.” As you age, “the benefit of having a lot of friends disappears when you’re 30.” The study also warns that the quality of your life could be negatively affected if you “keep up all that socializing once you hit 30.”
But still, good friendships are valuable at any age. Plenty of studies have concluded that having good friends can help reduce stress and give a serious health boost to the brain. These essentially help you live a long and meaningful life.