If you’re going into grad school soon, it’s easy to know the things you’ll need to bring with you. However, it can be hard to know if making friends in grad school is a necessity or not. This post will cover three reasons why having friends in grad school can help make your time easier and better overall.
Having friends at graduate school is a huge advantage that will make your time there more enjoyable. If you had classmates in graduate school, you could collaborate on studies, get guidance, and lean on for support when things became tough. First, make social connections with your fellow graduate students. Then collaborating will be a lot more straightforward. The question is, how do you go about doing that?
I’ll start off by talking about how great it is that you’re going to a less stressful environment than undergraduate school. Some of the most stressful times I’ve ever had in school have been in classes taught by grad students. These professors seemed to be intent on finding the best, most efficient way to torture everyone in the class. It’s hard to convey how horrible some of these experiences were without using expletive-laden language, but suffice it to say that you’ll likely have more lenient professors than undergrads.
That said, having civil and kind grad students as classmates can make a positive difference for you as well. If you have a professor who’s known for being merciless, having a friend in class can take some of the sting out of his or her lectures. When it comes to the final course grade, having friends in class can help you get that much-needed boost when you need it.
Speaking of that third point, one of the biggest reasons to make friends in grad school is simply because it’s easier. These people will likely become your colleagues once you’ve graduated and started working, and their connections may help your career in the long term. Making friends in grad school can also help when it comes to when you need assistance from your fellow students when it comes to doing research or completing a group project. It’ll make things go a lot quicker if you’ve already got a friend in class to do the work with.
Overall, making friends in grad school is a necessity for your overall well-being and success both during and after graduation. You can help ensure that you have friendly people around for the long haul by building relationships now.
Bring a friend with you to the gym.
This might be a terrific method to meet new people if you like working out. My (now) buddy Veny invited me and another friend, Kaitlyn, to a Zumba class when we were in graduate school. We’d never before spent time with Veny. However, the answer to that question is yes. And as a result, we started attending additional gym courses together and finally became close friends! We were so close in graduate school that our professors began referring to us as the Three Amigos.
Invite your friends and family to a potluck.
Grad students like to celebrate by hosting potlucks. Clubbing and home parties are a thing of the past. As a graduate student, your only priorities are access to free meals and a regular bedtime. That’s why a potluck is the ideal social gathering! In addition, this might be an excellent method to learn about your students’ various cultural traditions and heritages. My potluck crew is seen below.
Organize a game night with your friends and family.
My department used to host game evenings every Friday throughout my last two years of graduate school. We mostly engaged in this werewolf-themed game, which was great fun. Playing games with your friends is a great method to meet new people rapidly.
How to make friends in Grad School
Get yourself to a show.
To get the most out of your free time, go to a concert if you reside in a city where they are held. The Backstreet Boys performed in Tuscaloosa when I was a graduate student there. My two best friends and I all grew up listening to the Backstreet Boys, so going to see them live was a huge deal for us. It was a wonderful evening and a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our bonds. Five years later, we are still talking about that concert!
Go out to eat at a different place.
The cuisine in Tuscaloosa, AL is something I truly miss. I like going out to eat with my pals and seeing what new places were open. To get a taste of the local food, ask a few classmates over for lunch.
Celebrate the birth of a new being.
My first outing was to Kaitlyn’s birthday party with my group. In September, she will become one year old. We had only been in school for about a month when this happened, and I had not spent any time with anyone from my program outside of class. Because of this, I was happy to accept Kaitlyn’s invitation to her birthday lunch, where I met some of the other people in the department. To mark the occasion, we snapped a photo (you can see how fresh faced and young we were below). Ask around to see when someone’s birthday is so you may throw them a lunch party. You may even have a birthday party and invite your friends!
A night in with a movie.
Movie nights are one of my favorite pastimes. Invite a few friends over for a girl’s night in and enjoy a rom-com, superhero film, or whatever else you enjoy watching. During our first semester, I hosted a movie night for a couple of the female students in my department. We baked cookies and ate mozzarella sticks while chatting the night away. To be honest, we’ve never even decided what movie we want to watch.
Observe football matches.
Most likely, you’re a graduate student at a large public university where football is a major thing. The University of Alabama was a BFD for me, as well. My classmates and I would go to the games together, sweat it out in the heat, and make fun of the obnoxious undergrads. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to get to know one another better. The Alabama Crimson Tide are the team to beat!
A Facebook community for graduate students is something I run, as previously stated. Specifically, I aid with productivity and responsibility in that group. Click here to request to join the group if you’re interested, and I’ll add you!
Here are some ideas to help you meet people and form bonds with your graduate school cohort. Start by making friends, in my opinion. Your students will turn to you when they want to study in a group or work on tasks together if you become friends and know each other socially. Grad school can be a blast if you hang around with the right people and know how to kick asses!