Had a lot of friends in college? Researchers say that could mean you'll have a better life.

Friendships may come and go, but their impact can last forever.

Did your mother say not to party too hard in college? Well, looks like all of that socializing could be of good use!

No, really. It apparently can give you a boost that will affect you 30 years later. Cool, huh?


Party on, dude! GIF from "Jersey Shore."

A recent study found that having a lot of friends when you're 20 can be a predictor of a happy midlife.

The University of Rochester study reveals that the number of friends you have when you're 20 has a direct impact on your quality of life when you're 50. The more you have, the better your life will be.

They found that having a lot of connections makes you feel better, and it makes you a better person. Connecting with a lot of people often means having to interact with a variety of folks you've never met before, which isn't always pleasant but is always educational. So those preschool goals were on point: Learning how to play well with others is important.

NBD, just hanging out with a few of my closest friends. Photo by gareth1953/Flickr.

Having poor social connections doesn't just put you at risk of loneliness — it could be deadly.

The slightly alarming part is that not having a lot of connections can be detrimental to your health. Lead author Cheryl Carmichael shared that they found “having few social connections is equivalent to tobacco use, and it's higher than for those who drink excessive amounts of alcohol, or who suffer from obesity." Yikes.

Just make sure to eventually slow down — the benefit of having a lot of friends disappears when you're 30.

In fact, if you keep up all that socializing once you hit 30, your life quality can take a hit two decades later. So make sure you have a few people you end up connecting really well with because as you age, it's all about quality rather than quantity.

Then you can have those classy, intimate dinner parties you've been dying to have. Photo by Didriks/Flickr.

Not a social butterfly? Don't start panicking yet.

Fear not, fellow introverts! You are not doomed to a miserable midlife. The researchers admit that this is a small, limited study that included mostly affluent white college students who could afford to attend in the 1970s. There's also the modern issue of technology: The study only took in-person interactions into account. Thanks to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, folks can keep up with friends without ever seeing them in person. The effect might be different with more diversity in the group and social interactions recorded.

So until then ... just keep doing you.

Fulfilling friendships are beneficial no matter your age.

There is abundant evidence out there that the benefits of having good friends is endless. Studies have found that they can help you live longer, reduce stress, and give a serious brain health boost.

So no matter your age, go hug a friend.

It won't just feel good now — it could improve your life for years to come.

C'mon. You know you wanna. GIF from "Real Housewives of Atlanta."

Family

Someday, future Americans will look back on this era of school shootings in bafflement and disbelief—not only over the fact that it happened, but over how long it took us to enact significant legislation to try to stop it.

Five people die from vaping, and the government talks about banning vaping devices. Hundreds of American children have been shot to death in their classrooms, sometimes a dozen or so at a time, and the government has done practically nothing. It's unconscionable.

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via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

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Truth

Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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LUSH

Handmade cosmetics company Lush is putting its money where its mouth is and taking a bold step for climate change action.

On September 20 in the U.S. and September 27 in Canada, Lush will shut the doors of its 250 shops, e-commerce sites, manufacturing facilities, and headquarters for a day, in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike taking place around the world. Lush is encouraging its 5000+ employees "to join this critical movement and take a stand until global leaders are forced to face the climate crisis and enact change."

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