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Friendship: the key to happiness

Written by: Ana Beatriz Duarte Maya Ferreira

From: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Edited by: Carla Turbides

You certainly remember your first group of friends, from when you were younger. The ones who made you excited to see them at school. The ones you shared the most thrilling adventures and the funniest moments. 

According to the dictionary, friendship means “a bond between people that connects them and lets them share each other's feelings and thoughts; someone is your friend if you feel like you can tell them anything, and [you] love to spend time with them.” 

Most of the time, friendship is underrated, considering its massive influence on our well-being. Growing up alongside people you love is viewed as something of extreme importance for the development of our personality. We don’t always stop to think about it, but the people we met today, 10 years ago, or will meet in the future, might stay in our lives forever or simply leave due to a silly argument.

Having a friend, or a group of friends, which you feel comfortable being goofy around, and making jokes, is unique, especially when these people grow with you. It is simple to assume that such an event is common within the globe, however, it is not. Not everyone has the opportunity to grow alongside someone throughout their whole life, so if you did, you are lucky. There is no doubt that having a childhood friend is one of the many gifts from life.

Research found that “friendships benefit children by creating a sense of belonging and security and reducing stress”. When you have someone by your side, mainly if this person knows you for a longer time, you feel that you are loved, which can even “contribute to children's quality of life”, as there is a constant feeling of affection. 

Relationships during school years can be rough. Children can be very cruel sometimes. People change. The one thing that stays constant is true friendship. When we are young, it is easier to make friends. We go to the park, sit beside another kid, and share our toys. Growing up, we see that it might not be that easy to ‘fit’ in a group that is already formed, but we give it a try. However, the most difficult part of a friendship is not creating one but sustaining it. People have differences, and they might clash at some point in life; but if the bond is strong, the friendship is forever.

Therefore, cherish your long-time friendships. Make friends at school - you might end up on their wedding day, introducing your kids to theirs, or meeting them again somewhere in adulthood. It is never too late to meet new people, or to reconcile, so make the best moment of your life with the friends you love, because the time is always right.

Friendship: the key to happiness: Feature Story
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