This College Activity Can Determine Your Future Happiness
College represents an ideal opportunity to gain freedom, explore your academic interests and make lifelong BFFs, whether that’s through a sorority or fraternity, a sport or bonding with like-minded caffeine addicts at the local coffee beanery. But new research from the University of Rochester says that your socialization in college affects not only the four so-called best years of your life, but also your future happiness as an adult. Although the findings may startle you even if you aced Psychology 101, they offer hope that even after the college years, it’s not too late to improve your interactions with others and experience Pharrell-like levels of happiness.
The 30-year study by the University of Rochester surveyed individuals at age 20 and 30, tracked their daily social interactions and then surveyed the participants at age 50 about their emotional well-being. The findings revealed that the quantity of social interactions you have at age 20, along with the quality of relationships you have at age 30, can influence your happiness and well-being later in life. This is thought to be because as 20-year-olds, socializing with others allows you to make sense of the diverse opinions and values of those you meet. This can help you shape and solidify your own outlook on life.
But while a high number of social interactions is desirable in the early twenties, the study suggests that a high quantity of friendships at age 30 doesn’t provide the same lifelong benefits. Instead, at age 30, quality, satisfying relationships are thought to lend the greatest benefits to your later well-being. While it may seem like 20-year-olds are in control of the competition, if you’re a highly social 20-year-old now, you don’t necessarily have a guaranteed ticket to future happiness. The study surprisingly found that a high quantity of social relationships at age 20 didn’t always lead to high-quality relationships at age 30. This is all the more reason to stop counting Facebook friends and Twitter followers and focus on building real, lasting relationships that extend well beyond the digital era.
In addition to the psychosocial effects of socialization, the study highlights other key health benefits to socializing. People with poor social contact were found to have an increased risk of early mortality. Having few social connections is so damaging that it’s thought to be the equivalent of tobacco use! Coming clean about your social habits and working to improve them can ensure that you receive a clean bill of health, both now and in the future.
Regardless of your age, we think it’s never too late to connect both with your fellow Brit + Co community members and with the inspired minds in your local community. So shoot the breeze with your buds and venture out of your comfort zone to share, build and connect. Your future happiness awaits you.
How often do you socialize? Let us know in the comments below!
Fall is right around the corner, and we're getting amped up for our next session of Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week interactive startup school. Designed to help you create a new business or grow your existing one, this course is personally led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and co-founder Anjelika Temple, and supported by more than a dozen of the top female entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors in the country. Students receive personalized coaching on everything from how to get out of your comfort zone to how to scale your business, and everything in between. And now, thanks to Office Depot, even more of you can join the course!
For the fall session, we're thrilled to team up with Office Depot to grant 200 FREE scholarship seats to the course. Scholarships are open to US residents, focusing on women of color, women from underserved and underrepresented communities, and women in need of support to help them trail-blaze. After all, we firmly believe that your support system is a huge part of how you achieve greatness, and we are here to cheer all of you on.
To nominate yourself or someone you know for a scholarship, head to our nomination form right here. The deadline for scholarship nominations is September 27th — it's time to take the leap!
Beyond the scholarship, Office Depot is all about helping you accomplish more. Whether it be the start phase, growth phase or keep businesses going phase, Office Depot offers a full suite of business solutions, including services and products, to help you work from anywhere, organize and save time and help build your brand.
So what are you waiting for? Take a chance on yourself and get yourself one step closer to truly being selfmade. Learn more about the Selfmade program, apply for a scholarship and prepare to be inspired :)