Snigda Narisetty and I met when we were 5 years old at the bus stop. I was alone and had no one to talk to and neither did she. I asked her, “What is your name?” and her answer confused my poor kindergarten self for the next twenty minutes on the bus. I had never met anyone with a name that hard to pronounce before, and I’m sure she found great joy in my struggle. She would eventually become my first best friend, and we are still close friends to this day, and she was my first best friend.
Relationships with peers are important throughout life, but they matter the most in high school. High school is a very difficult time; there’s all sorts of pressure and stress between schoolwork, peer pressure, and just wanting to fit in. Friends provide support, boost your confidence, and help you make it through tough situations. High school just wouldn’t be possible to make it through without having some sort of friendship.
We as a human race are social creatures; we need bonds and friendship in order to have a healthy mental state. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too.” We all have moments where we need someone there for us, and our friends are some of the first people we turn to. Other research shows that people are much better off with some companions at their side. According to Eurekalert, “Experiencing strong, intimate friendships during adolescence may help promote long-term mental health.” This means that people who make friends when they are younger make better choices that can affect their lives after high school. Surrounding yourself with positive people can help you make positive decisions, while the opposite would have the opposite effect. Having an influential friend in your life makes you happier and healthier throughout high school. In other words, sometimes we all just need a right hand man.
In my personal experience, I find that I honestly care for my friends more than I care for many members of my own family. My friends are supportive, they’re always there for me, and they are willing to listen when my family is not. You are able to choose your friends but you cannot choose your family, and this contributes to this feeling of closeness and bonding more with friends than family.
Some people may argue that friends are an unnecessary part of high school, and “Who needs them?” These people are usually more independent and think that friends can be a waste of time. Every once in awhile, they’ll want a shoulder to cry on or they want to feel cared for; even the most independent among us has likely felt pangs of loneliness or just wanted someone to talk to. So if you think of yourself as a loner, find someone else who does too, and give friendship a chance.