Why you should make friends in grad school

September 22, 2011 —

Congrats, you made it to Des Moines University! All your hard work through undergrad has finally paid off. Now that you’re here, you might have noticed your friends didn’t come with you. I was personally shocked when my friends didn’t want to move nine hours way from our hometown to keep me entertained when I occasionally have breaks. But that’s okay, I’m not bitter. I did wonder, though, why should I get to know my classmates? Some of them talk funny. What would we have in common? Why bother? I came up with some reasons why you don’t have to go it alone.

Why you should make friends in grad school:

10. School is now your life. You go to class. You study. You sleep (some) and repeat. Every once in a while when you get a five-day break between tests, it’s nice to have someone to complain to about school or make a “no talking about school” rule and attempt to follow the rule for five minutes when out to dinner.

9. You don’t know what to talk about to your friends and family back home because of number 10.

8. It is nice to have someone wish you “happy birthday” other than those Facebook people from high school you haven’t seen in years.

7. If you want to drink adult beverages, doing it alone can be a sign of alcoholism.

6. It is more comfortable getting up close and personal during Physical Diagnosis class. Well, no, actually it’s still awkward.

5. You learn more about Iowa sports. Since I am not an Iowa native, I thought I would impress one of my classmates with my knowledge of their sports teams. She said she graduated from Iowa State. “Ah ha,” I said to myself. I know their team name. “Go Hawkeyes!” Well, my friends let me know my mistake before I got beat up.

4. It’s nice to have someone who will share their locker for your backpack during test days when you can’t remember your combo or your lock is like mine and only works when you don’t actually need in your locker.

3. You might not be athletic enough for one-person volleyball.

2. If you are laughing in public with a group, people think you are having a good time. If you are laughing in public by yourself, people think you are schizophrenic.

And the number 1 reason is…

1. It’s better to cry on a friend’s shoulder after a bad test than on a stranger’s.


Shannon Layton is a physician assistant student, Class of 2013, from Kokomo, Indiana, home of the first canned tomato juice. When she is not studying, she enjoys laughing with her friends till her stomach hurts and spending time with her fiancé Clint Scruggs. Clint is also a student at DMU, enrolled in the Class of 2015 D.O. program. Shannon is happy to cross off her list “get into PA school.” Next on the list is “enter a hot dog eating contest.” Let her know if you hear of one in Des Moines.