Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Connecting with classmates

For adult students, it can be easy to show up for class and then leave at the end without really connecting with colleagues. For the most part, grad school is not like undergrad wherein we then saw our classmates in the dorm or in the cafeteria or whatever.

Today I'm writing to encourage you to look for one or a few classmates with whom you think you could have a good collegial friendship and then try to connect. Ideally, you will find one or a few folks who you can call between classes when you want help with some work or need to vent or need a kick in the you-know-what. Perhaps you and your closest colleague will occasionally meet before class for dinner or meet on a Saturday for lunch.

As adult students, we sometimes feel isolated. As one reader wrote earlier this fall, graduate students often feel disconnected from campus life. And again, we don't have the academic community of the residence halls and otherwise living on campus. However, we can create our own connection, our own circle of support. I believe that the students who connect with at least one colleague in their program greatly increase their chances of success. These connections also enrich our experience of school, I believe we learn more deeply and also benefit from the gift of new friendships.

Seek to connect.

Cheering you on!

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