Peas in a Pod

Friends are not always considered just friends; they are often marked as family.

Most people on the Earth desires a connection with other people. This connection is critical to humanity; whether it is between a neighbor, classmate or coworker, socializing is important. The bonds people share with others create a friendships. The word “friend” has many meanings, each definition different for each individual. Every interaction between people has a lasting impact on who a person becomes.

Freshmen Grace Acello and Bridget Nauman have been friends since their first cheer practice together at Ultimate Cheer Athletics. Just like they have grown together, so has their friendship.

“My friendships are super important to me because they are the people that I can express all my emotions to and I know I can talk to them about the problems [that] I am facing,” Acello said.

Friendships can have major impacts on well-being. Good friends can heighten happiness, and by creating memories and having a good time with the people one surrounds themselves with creates a positive effect on a lifestyle. This can also reduce stress and increase self-worth. By talking about recent challenges being faced with other friends can help relieve some of the stress the problems have created. Friendships come in different shapes and sizes, too. Some strive to grow a never-ending network of friends, while others prefer a smaller circle of close friends.

According to a study by the University of Wisconsin Madison, people with a wide network of friends have less tension, suffered from less stress, had stronger defenses against infection and lived longer. Friends encourage good habits, chase away depression, and cause satisfaction, pleasure and overall happiness.

“[When I first met Grace,] I was very shy,” Nauman said. “Being with new people, I didn’t think I would enjoy it. Grace and I got to talk to each other and communicate about our struggles. Since then, I could tell that we were going to be friends.”

People tend to pick friends who are similar to them. This explains why best friends seem to have the closest relationships, and the term “two peas in a pod” exists. This is because most fall into the similarity trap, it is important to try to stretch and learn from opposite perspectives and viewpoints.

“We both have similar personalities, but we definitely have different opinions on things,” Acello said. “I think it makes our bond stronger. Having different points of view from a different person helps [you] get through things and it definitely helps during hard times.”

Good friends are there through thick and thin, and can guide one to success. Being able to express ideas and share goals can easily have a big impact on someone. Different perspectives on topics opens up friendships on all levels, creating a stronger bond.

“Grace is just that best friend that I can tell everything to and I can always talk to,” Nauman said. “I’m not afraid to be myself around her. I don’t know who I would be without her being by my side. She’s the sister I never had and having her in my life as my best friend is the next best thing.”

The bond between best friends is something special. It is different than a relationship with parents. It is hard to realize how important a person will eventually become upon the first meeting, however, in some cases, it is  an instant feeling. Most people don’t expect a person to become such a big part of their life until they are.

“You kind of have that feeling when you meet that someone special,” Acello said. “To this day I totally still think she’s going to be at my wedding.”

Friendship works in two directions. Not only does one benefit from its many perks, but  being a good friend benefits the others around. The people   met throughout the stages of life have an impact, no matter how large or small.