You Don't Need  A Large Group Of Friends To Be Happy

When It Comes To Best Friends, More Isn't Necessarily The Merrier

Take it from a girl gang-less girl.

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Scrolling through my instagram feed, my first couple hours back in the home of my teenage years—always an arguably bittersweet day as you realize that, while you're not a child, you're most definitely not an adult—I lazily swiped past an instagram post by Man Repeller only to immediately swipe back up a millisecond later.

Pause. Man Repeller is not a site designed to repel men as the name would suggest, it's actually a brand focused on women's fashion and lifestyle, right down to the nitty-gritty and not-so-glamorous. Welcome to your new go-to for style advice, comical reads, and well-versed musings on life.

Back to the point—this post I came across had the following quote attached with a link to a Man Repeller article by Jennifer Epperson: "I've started to shift my focus away from who I 'should be' so that I can embrace who I actually am - and this includes appreciating the fact that I don't have a huge group of friends."

As a self-proclaimed advocate for quality over quantity I gave the article a good read and pondered the question of When it comes to friendships, is more really the merrier?

Social psychology would offer you an emphatic "Absolutely!" followed by two thumbs up and a link to Bumble BFF. True, social connection is a sure-fire way to turn that frown upside down and keep yourself occupied, but, again, is it the number of friendships or the nature of those friendships you do have that leads to the greatest source of joy?

I think back to the therapist of my adolescence, and while my fond memories of her are few and far between, one doctrine of sorts she drilled into my juvenile mind was this: "If you can hold up one finger and say to yourself 'I have one true friend,' then you're luckier than most."

Reading Epperson's article this idea became all the more pertinent, especially as she mentions the mainstream idea that having a "girl squad" means the more power to you (and if you've read my past articles you know I'm not a fan of cliques).

I found myself meditating on my meaningful friendships—those with whom I've divulged my deepest rooted fears, while also feeling free enough to expose my naturally ridiculous tendencies. As I went through each of these people I adore I realized that no two are alike, many have never met, and I am more than happy with the way these friendships coexist. I concluded that the quality of your relationship is oh-so much more important than the quantity and you're more likely to establish such friendships by spending one on one time.

Large groups of friends are great, and if you have a "squad" that's been by your side through all your hardships—marvelous. If not? That's great, too. All you need is that one friend you can count on for everything and anything.

Like I said, a good number of my best friends wouldn't even recognize each other on the street—and that's fine. In having different friends rather than one big gang, you open yourself up to so much more opportunity and eliminate some of the possibility of others feeling left out. You also ensure you're never going to have to choose sides in a friendship debate and you have other unbiased outlets in times of friendship crisis.

There is no shame in not having the ever-coveted girl squad and if you fall into this category, you're not alone.

As the we find ourselves in the midst of the holiday season, it's important to appreciate the loved ones you do have, rather than those you don't (they don't matter anyway).

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100 percent real" and that incoming freshman should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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I Would Advise You To Keep My Name Out Of Your Mouth If You Have Never Met Me

College is hard enough without having to endure drama from people you've never met.

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The first year of college is one of the most trying times for anyone. It's the first time that you're fully independent of your parents, where you have to wake yourself up for your classes because your roommate probably doesn't have your exact schedule, you eat when the spirit moves you, and you prioritize your time in any way you want. College is a time of growth, where you leave behind your 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. high school experience and have to start over.

Yet, I've realized that some people can't leave high school behind, and bring with them the petty drama and unnecessary rumors that littered the halls of high school and spread like wildfire. There is a consistent stream of gossip and preconceived notions that ruin a potential future relationship between two people, all because someone decided that a rumor they heard about someone else was worth sharing.

I understand why people hold on to the drama that is caused when other people decide to gossip. But, for the people who learn about their reputation from their friends, because someone decided to share it with them and, being a good friend, they told them what someone had said, it's hard. College is the first time where you get to go out on your own and live life as a semi-functioning adult, and no one wants to be dragged back to their high school experience.

For the people who bring high school to college with them and the people who believe rumors about someone even if they haven't met that person, you need to get over yourself. It is not fair to the people about whom you're talking. Imagine if it happened to you. College is a challenging time, the coursework is more difficult and there is no one there to tell you what to do with your time. It is hard enough to balance academic coursework with a social life and extracurricular activities, not including being able to maintain strong mental health. Although it can be heartbreaking to hear rumors that have been said, it can show you who your true friends are. There are a lot of people you meet when starting college who seem like they could be your best friends, but as soon as you turn your back, they're whispering about you. There is no doubt in my mind that my close friends would be the first to speak up on my behalf if they heard something negative about me. And that means more to me than a reputation.

It's easier said than done not to let rumors and other people's perception affect you. The difference being let it hurt you and accepting that there's nothing you can do are two very separate things. But what other people think of you is something that is entirely outside of your control, and all that you can really do is decide not to let it be known that it bothers you. You have every right to be upset if you hear something negative about yourself, especially if it isn't true or something you did has been blown out of proportion. There is no definitive list of traits that a person can have to be strong, and there is not a list of actions that you can take in order to move on from being hurt by rumors. But the most important thing that you can do for yourself is to move on. To make sure that you are happy and comfortable in your own skin. It may seem like a burden to fully accept yourself and like every single thing about yourself. No one is perfect.

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