National Make a Friend Day

“I get by with a little help from my friends.” Never was the Beatles classic line more relevant.

Entering into the adult world is no walk in the park. It is a time where feelings of panic and discontent are often there, nagging in the back of one’s mind. It’s a time when participating in the hunger games seems preferable to joining the working world and the idea of graduating college feels like a death sentence. With everything that is going on, it is important to keep friends close and remind them how important they are.

Life becomes a little easier with friends. There is someone to laugh and have fun with, but also someone to whine to or someone that will listen as you explain the difficulty of managing schoolwork and the world’s worst boss. Many times, young adults who are new to the “adult world” have a hard time making new friends, and even established adults can attest to the fact that life gets in the way quicker and more easily than expected.

February 11th is National Make a Friend Day and as silly as this may seem it is important to have friends and to be a good friend. Friendship brings positivity into a hectic life and keeps you grounded. Friends boost your confidence and give you that sense of belonging and purpose. Yes, your friends are not always going to be happy, but having each other around no matter what makes hard times easier.

If you need any more prompting to go out and make a new friend, consider the fact that there are the actual physical and mental benefits that come along with friendship. For example, “people who have strong social relationships are less likely to die prematurely than people who are isolated” (Pappas). Friendships reduce stress and without that tension there is less wear and tear on the body. Reinforcing this is research by Dr. Lissa Rankin who found that “people with a close network of friends live longer, have healthier brains, survive breast cancer better, survive heart disease better, and get less colds.” People tend to take better care of themselves when they are happier, and friendship contributes to this greatly, erasing the damage done by loneliness or isolation.

To help on this wonderful friend finding holiday, here are some ways to go out and make that new one:

Take a class you love.

If you love it, and you’re surrounded by people who love it, you already have something in common. Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you and find out what brought them to the class.

Think twice about your coworkers.

You probably see each other every day which makes coworkers the perfect potential friends. Invite a coworker out for drinks after you finish for the day or ask about what they like to do. You are in the same workplace your so odds of finding people you get along with are high.

See if there is anyone from college or high school in your area.

You went to school together, maybe you were friends. Connect and see how they are doing, maybe ask them to get coffee and catch up.

Get outside and go on an adventure.

This could be as simple as going out for a walk or going on an international trip with a group. Group trips are great because there they are, people who are stuck with you for the length of the trip. Adventure and friendship go hand in hand.

Smile!

The biggest (and simplest) thing you can do to make a friend is smile. Smiling makes you instantly more approachable and makes people more likely to come up and talk to you and actually want to be friends. A smile goes a long way!

The biggest thing is getting yourself out of the house and actually taking the time to meet up with others. Potential friends are everywhere just waiting to be made. Whatever your interests may be, there are others who can relate. Or maybe you need a friend who is your polar opposite and keeps you grounded! Regardless, friends lead to happier and healthier lives and the prospect February 11th being National Make a Friend Day is perfect incentive to make a new one.

References

Lennon, John, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison. With a Little Help from My Friends. The Beatles. George Martin, 1967. CD.

Rankin, Lissa. “The Health Benefits of True Friendship.” Psychology Today. N.p., n.d. Web. Feb. 2017.

Papas, Stephanie. “7 Ways Friendships Are Great for Your Health.” LiveScience. Purch, n.d. Web. Feb. 2017.

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