We’ve all been there: Looking up the roster before the first day of class and scouring the list for a familiar name. Even an acquaintance would do for the sake of bringing up how you know each other by x-amount degrees of separation.
But there comes a day when you scroll past the “Z’s,” and you might as well have seen John Doe appear futher down the list. Your first-day-of-class excitement is shifting to battlefield-level strategies of arrival times and seat placement.
Here’s the thing: Class Friends are the best friends.
The singular best thing about having a class with those you don’t know is that you’ll soon get the chance to know them. While you may connect with other friends through the same club or social group, these class friends are in the thick of it with you — struggling to pass the same tests and turn in the same homework on time.
You’ll learn with them but also from them, as you get more comfortable to speak up in class and share ideas. In many ways, this control-group of friends withstands the same stages of friendship like any other relationship you have.
Stage 1: Meeting — You may have the first interaction by happenstance and then sitting next to them and consequently being paired in a group project.
Stage 2: Acquaintance — You now know of each other, so seeing one another on campus, you’re able to smile and wave instead of passing them by on your way to another class.
Stage 3: Confidant — You can now share in the disdain you have for a particular aspect of the class without fear of judgment.
Stage 4: Friendship — Maybe it’s after several late-night meetings for caffeinated group projects at the campus Starbucks, or the last-minute final touches on the PowerPoint at your apartment that’s finally done it. But now you’re considered real deal Class Friends because at this point, you’ve really been through it all together.
There’s a certain level of expectation class friends hold one another to — to have each others’ backs when class is missed or to teach one another a subject on which they have a better grasp.
For those of you who read this and think, “I have all the friends I need,” you could probably afford some more.
It’s an unspoken trust that allows us to lean over for that one, initial introduction to begin a friendship to last a semester. Who knows – maybe even two.
Rebecca Flannery is a senior journalism major from Melissa. She is the Arts Editor for the Lariat.