After years of telling yourself that being the most popular person in high school wouldn't have been all it was cracked up to be, there's an actual study supporting your belief. A new study in the journal Child Development titled "Close Friendship Strength and Broader Peer Group Desirability as Differential Predictors of Adult Mental Health" revealed that high schoolers who had a wide pool of friends ended up worse off down the road than those who maintained close friendships.
Researchers at the University of Virginia conducted a 10-year study where they followed 169 high school students from the age of 15 to 25. They discovered that high schoolers who preferred keeping a tight knit group of friends ended up with a "relative uptick in self-worth and fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety by age 25." Meanwhile, those individuals who didn't maintain as many close friendships were "more inclined to experience social anxiety in early adulthood." Plus, the people in the latter group will constantly subject others to stories about their "golden years." That isn't part of this particular study—that's just speaking from personal experience.
"Youth with higher levels of attachment to their best friends appear to have better psychological health, psychosocial adjustment, and even a more adaptive stress response during adolescence," the study concludes. "In general, adolescents with high-quality close friendships report higher rates of overall happiness than those without."
If you weren't the most popular kid in high school and told yourself that better days were ahead, you were probably correct. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the people you once envied.