Raise your hand if you can count your closest friends on your fingers. Okay. Now raise your hand if those friends differ in age, sex, culture or even sexual orientation. If you found that a little tricky, here's a quick list of why it's important to have a variety of good friends.
1. Age. It's important to have friends in every age group because it will allow you to appreciate life and have a fuller grasp on what to expect. You should have friends your own age, friends younger than you (we're talking like 3 years younger than you, someone you can still relate to but don't have to worry about diaper duty) and someone older than you. These various age groups will help you relate to your society even more than you ever expected. A younger age group allows you to stay in touch with pop culture, what's new and growing in the world of technology, your own age group allows you to stay connected to who you are and what your goals and values are and an older age group allows you gain advice from those who have lived life to their fullest.
2. Gender/Sexual Orientation. Having friends who have different life experiences that you is extremely beneficial and it allows you to truly appreciate the human heart. Friends who can teach you something about society should be seen as gifts.
3. Culture/Religion. If you have friends from a different part of the world, whether its a person you met in school or maybe even a pen pal, you will truly be able to appreciate what you have. You will be less likely to take things for granted, you will become stronger because those people are strong, brave and committed to themselves that you will want to be the best version of yourself as well. These types of friends can teach you a lot about diversity, how important it is and how much we gain from a beautiful, diverse world.
So if you're going off to college or starting a new job, remember that everyone deserves a chance. Everyone in this world can teach you something very beneficial that will help shape you into the person you aspire to become.