In an era of nearly boundless online “friend” networks, Stanford researchers found that students are able to distinguish those real-life friends who are most able to help them deal with stressful times.
Every fall, college freshmen begin the familiar tradition of establishing friendships with classmates in their dormitories.
But little do they realize how much choosing the right friends – notably ones with empathy – could be beneficial during stressful times, a new Stanford study says.
“The transition to college can be tumultuous,” said Jamil Zaki, an assistant professor of psychology at Stanford and co-author of the study. “Whom you end up making friendships with can play a significant role in how you’ll deal with the stress and hardship of freshman year.”