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Small Cohort

I am coming into my graduate program with an extremely small cohort, and I am worried that I will not be able to make friends with such a small group to choose from. What do I do if I do not get along with my fellow cohorters? Thanks! —Anonymous

First of all, I’m so sorry that I can’t answer every question as soon as it’s submitted. My hope is that now, a month into the quarter, this issue is moot and you’re comfortable in your program and bff’s with everyone in your cohort. But to answer the question: Remember that you’ve all chosen the same program, you have similar academic/research interests, you’ll be going through the same classes/labs/grunt work. By keeping that in the forefront, you’ll see just how much you all have in common. Keep an open mind and don’t feel pressured to cement relationships immediately. Let the shared experience of grad school naturally develop your friendships. And if you find that you need more friendship or more support than you’re getting within that small cohort, consider reaching out to the many student organizations and networks here. An example of this is below. Even if you do get along famously with your cohort, it’s still a good idea to develop support and networks outside of your department and enlarge your perspective. Good luck!

Ask the Grad School Guru is an advice column for all y’all graduate and professional students. Real questions from real students, answered by real people. If the guru doesn’t know the answer, the guru will seek out experts all across campus to address the issue. (Please note: The guru is not a medical doctor, therapist, lawyer or academic advisor, and all advice offered here is for informational purposes only.) Submit a question for the column →