As we know, the brains of teenagers are essentially being completely remodeled from what they looked like before. As we move from childhood and progress toward adulthood, any experiences that we have (interacting with friends, emotional responses, academic situations) all are ingrained in our brain and help shape the manner in which our brain is molded. In this post, we’re gonna focus on the importance of friendship during these critical years.

One part of development that everyone goes through during adolescence is gaining social skills to enable more successful interactions with peers and others in society. Hanging out with friends does just that; it enables teenagers to form connections, to get to know other people, understand social norms, learn how to be respectful but also respected by others, and get a grasp on important social concepts such as sympathy or empathy. Imagine if as a teenager you had no access to other people your age. As an adult it would be extremely hard to associate with others, get business deals done, make friends, or just even have a simple interaction with another if these experiences are not solidified during adolescence.

But there is a major downside for these malleable adolescent brains. Since adolescents are especially prone to being influenced by their environments and others, there is a high likelihood that they can fall victim to bad influences such as drugs and alcohol. And that’s what happens to a lot of teenagers who are unaware of the changes in their brain that push them to succumb to peer pressure and the desire to look cool: they are more likely to take these substances which have deleterious effects on their lives. And so it is important for everyone to be aware; remember to always hang out with friends and form strong social connections, but stay away from the negative influences who could lead you astray.