Relationship With Classmates

(Cover photo credit to http://imgarcade.com/1/elementary-classroom-cartoon/)

To some people, having or forming relationships with classmates may not be something very high on their priority list. Who cares about those weird people in my class?! There’s no point in having relationships with my classmates, anyway. That quiet girl in the back probably doesn’t have or even want to have friends. And I am going nowhere near that freak in the front row – what a teacher’s pet!

These are just a few examples of what some of you may be thinking, or have thought, in one class or another. Contrary to what many people may believe, forming even just a simple, basic relationship with your classmates is important and has major benefits.

What Exactly Is a Relationship With Classmates?

Even the most basic relationship among classmates involves interaction and communication. Communication is vital in any relationship because without it, it would be virtually impossible to form and maintain a relationship. Now, the “deeper” relationships among classmates involves caring about one another, and even developing a sense of empathy for each other. Although, forming close relationships or friendships with your classmates isn’t necessary. As long as there is a simple relationship among your and your classmates, you are set!

Forming Relationships With Your Classmates

Some people may struggle to form relationships with their classmates, while it comes naturally to others. Forming relationships in the classroom involves several steps. California College San Diego (http://www.cc-sd.edu/blog/3-tips-for-forming-lasting-relationships-in-college) offers some tips in forming and improving classroom relationships. These can also be considered as steps in developing relationships with classmates. Although the steps are stated in a certain order on their website, they can be mixed up a bit as well.

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(Photo from http://www.educationnews.org/k-12-schools/study-finds-students-can-improve-grades-if-they-show-up-to-class/)

The first step is pretty easy, and not to mention mandatory: show up to class! Don’t let the picture above happen. You definitely can’t expect to interact and communicate effectively with your classmates if you never show up. By showing up to class, you not only get the information needed for the class, but it gives you a chance to talk to and learn more about the people there. Many classes also require group assignments, activities, or projects, so it’s pretty much imperative that you make regular appearance.

The next step is to talk with – and listen to – your classmates. This is the essence of communication. It’s pretty obvious how to talk to other people; you just start. Despite the straight-forwardness of that, though, it may be difficult for more introverted people to start a conversation. For example, I am quieter at first in most classroom settings, so I’m usually not the one to start conversations. But through this I have learned that you’ve got nothing to lose when it comes to starting a conversation with a classmate you have never talked to before! Like mentioned above, communication also involves listening, and is very important, but that will be discussed in a little more depth later on.

The third step is to simply be nice. No one likes the arrogant, rude person in class. Being rude means that it will be hard to have a decent relationship with that person.

Relationships With Your Classmates Are Important!

There are many reasons why relationships among classmates are important, but just a few of them will be discussed in this post.

First of all, relationships involve communication. Communication is something that we all thrive off of. It is especially important for college students because college courses typically involve more group assignments and activities. This obviously means that you have to get together with your group, which may be harder to do in college than in high school or middle school. In high school, if students are required to do an assignment in a group, the time to complete that assignment is usually given during the class. However, in college, most group assignments or projects are to be done outside of class. This requires adequate communication among the group members to find times that work for ever member to get together. Communication doesn’t end at that, though. While working together, group members or classmates need to talk AND listen to each other. A member can’t only talk or only listen, because that would mean that they are not being a fully active member, and it only decreases the effectiveness of the group’s communication. Even just being in class together involves all sorts of communication among the students in it.

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(Photo from http://claudiasurya.wordpress.com/)

Do you see why communication is so important? 🙂

Another reason relationships with your classmates are important, especially for college students, is because it helps you to further develop your sense of self. Surprisingly, once you get to know your classmates better, you even learn more about yourself! An article from the New York Times talking about relationship-building in schools mentioned that “relationships are like school. You learn from them” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-relationship-building-is-vital-in-schools/2011/05/26/AG7KVODH_blog.html).

A third reason emphasizing the importance of relationships with classmates is that some of the relationships you make with students in the classroom may develop further into friendships outside the classroom. It is easy to say from personal experiences that good friendships in college can be made through classroom relationships. Who knows? Maybe we’ll still have those same friendships 20 years from now! If nothing else can motivate you to develop relationships with your classmates, this definitely should.

To Sum It All Up…

It should go without saying that forming relationships with your classmates is a fairly easy and straightforward process, it’s extremely important, and it has a variety of benefits. Throughout college we will be faced with many different classes filled with new classmates each time. If we go through majority of those classes without much interaction or communication with others (which is quite impressive if one can manage to do so), we will be missing out on so many opportunities. And don’t forget that you probably won’t get the best grades in your classes with the absence of communication, interaction, and relationships between you and your fellow students. The last word of advice: don’t label this type of relationship as unimportant, because in many ways it is!

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3 thoughts on “Relationship With Classmates

  1. I made most of my friends from just turning to another student in the class and asking if they understood a concept. This lead to study groups where we all helped each other out by explaining concepts that we understood and listening to the students who understood concepts that others were struggling with. This shared bond made classes more enjoyable (especially in labs) and makes even the most difficult classes seem easier. Most professors at my school encourage study groups and some even reward students who do interact with one another. If you would have asked me at the beginning of my college career if I needed to know and interact with my classmates outside of group work I would have said “no.” Now that I am ready to graduate, those relationships I made though interacting with other students are the best friends I have and we all agree that we need each other in order to be truly successful.

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  2. Certainly buildIng relationships in class can add to the overall success of a class. I always found it was largely dependent upon what the overall goal of the class was for me personally that determined how many relationships I formed.

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