Emma Cathers

Students should value friendships found in class

April 27, 2022

When I came to UVM, I expected the most important people I would meet to be conveniently living down the hall from my dorm room.

Though I made incredible friends this way, the friendships I’ve made in my classes have been equally valuable.

Friends from classes allow me to better live my life as a multifaceted human.

My first year of college was dominated by online classes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant interpersonal connection was lacking. Breakout rooms on Microsoft Teams were my only source of community.

I was able to make some small online connections, but none of them translated to in-person friendships.

During fall 2021, I experienced my first taste of what real, in-person college classes are like.

The adjustment to face-to-face interaction was awkward.Like many, I felt like I had forgotten how to connect with people.

Slowly, I pushed myself to make small talk with those around me in class.

This gradually evolved into waving at folxs around campus, exchanging phone numbers and eventually getting to know friends from classes outside of academic spaces.                                                                                                                      

My class friends allowed me to expand my circle to include people who understand and connect with each facet of who I am as a person.

Taking a class with other people can naturally bring students together. Oftentimes, people bond over a common interest, like the topic of the class.

My friend from Spanish class and I share the same desire to learn and practice a language in a community-based setting.

Together, we attend La Tertulia, a weekly gathering where students can speak and connect with others in Spanish through games and discussion about Hispanic pop culture.

My friends from my dance class dance in the rain with me when it’s 11 p.m. on a Thursday.

They empower my creative side and share their emotions with me through movement and words in a way my other friends don’t understand.

Our shared spontaneity brings on moments of laughter and excitement I wouldn’t otherwise experience.

My friends from my secondary education major laugh with me at dinner while we contemplate whether we are really headed down the right career path.

We express the same hopes and fears about entering the underpaid field of education.

My class friends have become much more than homework-helpers and study buddies; they are people I love spending time with and getting to know.

Class is a lot more fun when you walk in eager to hear about your friend’s wild weekend or to tell them about an exciting event happening in your life.

I never could have imagined the amount of love and support I receive from the people I just happened to sit next to in class one day.

My class friends support me in all of my endeavors and never fail to encourage me to explore a variety of interests. They are just as valuable and important as any other friends I have made in college.

Every day, I feel overwhelmed with the love I feel from my class friends and I cannot wait to make more friends in classes next semester and every semester after that.

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