The student years provide an excellent opportunity for social growth and developing new friendships. It’s a time when you’re exposed to new situations, behaviors, and values, and these experiences can help you figure out who you are and find a sense of purpose, meaning, and belonging.
Mental health experts explain that the student years are a time when your brain is more attuned to developing friendships. They encourage students to use this upcoming holiday break to hang out with friends—and deepen these relationships.
However, navigating friendships is not always easy—and it can be challenging to know when to invest in a friendship and when it’s better to walk away.
According to science, positive friendships tend to have a positive influence on mental health and well-being while unhealthy relationships can have a negative influence.
For example, healthy friendships provide support, understanding, and validation of your self-worth. They also tend to be more stable and satisfying and provide greater satisfaction.
Meanwhile, unhealthy friendships are often fraught with conflict, criticism, and aggression—and are often linked to poor academic performance and behavioral issues.
Be mindful of how you feel and act when you’re with different friends. If you are struggling with unhealthy relationships and would like guidance, please contact Member Support.