Science Confirms: Everyone Else Does Not Have More Friends Than You

Photographed by Ashley Armitage.
If you've ever felt like all your friends have way more friends than you do, you're definitely not alone.
A recent study from the University of British Columbia found that 48% of college freshmen polled believed that their friends had made more friends than they did since the school year began.
The study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Journal, indicated that the freshman felt that their peers were doing better than they were socially, and it had an effect on their sense of well-being beyond just feeling a little left out.
Ashley Whillans, an author of the study, told NPR that while high-achieving people (such as those likely to attend college), believe that they're well-equipped to handle challenges, feeling like their peers are doing better socially made people feel as if there was something wrong with them. However, Frances Chen, the study's lead author, also told NPR that it really only may seem that way.
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"Since social activities, like eating or studying with others, tend to happen in cafes and libraries where they are easily seen, students might overestimate how much their peers are socializing because they don't see them eating and studying alone," she said.
But even if it's not exactly true that you're missing out, it's an isolating experience to feel as if everyone is hanging out without you. It isn't a feeling that's exclusive to college students — anyone who's ever felt a little FOMO can probably attest to feeling as if you're behind on the social curve.
However, it's hopefully heartening to hear the researchers' insight that your friends aren't really all developing close-knit BFF-style friendships with a ton more people than you are.
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