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Importance of fellow students


delfi

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All related to social sciences field:

1. Have you guys found your cohort useful in learning, that is gaining perspectives, understanding academic stuff etc?

2. After coursework, how important has your cohort been academically and socially to you?

3. I wonder how many of our professors are still in touch with their cohort members?!

Edited by delfi
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1, I learn from my cohort (and other students) just as much as from professors, if not more. They have been extremely important to my academic development.

2. They are the first people I run my crazy ideas past. They are the ones I complain to. They are the ones with slightly more experience who advise me on what to do next in my career, or who I advise on their problems. They proofread my papers and comment on them. Yes, they are still important.

3. Actually many of my professors are still friends with their cohorts and other students who they went to grad school with. Some of them still publish together and they also visit each other occasionally.

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oh wow, you are so lucky Fuzzylogician!! it sounds like an ideal situation.

My question was prompted because of the lack of a good relationship with me and my cohort. I am unfortunately a bit of an outsider (age, race, culture etc) and more importantly differences in learning styles/attitudes/personalities. I was hoping that the answer would be that they are not that important. Mainly, I hope one can still have a good academic career without this advantage....

Edited by delfi
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1. I am in a large cohort and I do a fair bit of work in small groups. It's been really helpful in terms of understanding some of the academic stuff because we can combine our strengths and help each other out. That being said, I only work with a small group so I wouldn't say that my entire cohort has been helpful. Unfortunately, some of them can be a bit rude when you try to work with them or ask for help.

2. My cohort has been very important socially. I'm only close with a small group of people, who I spend time with most days, but the majority of the cohort gets together every so often for parties.

I think this can vary a lot depending on the program and the cohort, so I'm sure you're far from alone in your situation delfi. Maybe you could try getting involved in departmental activities that would expose you to other students in different years of the program so you could create some connections there?

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1. It's been a mix for me. My cohort is small, and since I'm in an interdisciplinary field, only two of them are anywhere near my area of interest. That said, one member of my cohort has been extremely helpful in gaining new perspectives and helping to build my understanding of the field.

2. Socially it's been minimal at best. Most of my cohort is Chinese, and tends to speak Chinese only outside of class. Kind of makes it impossible to hang out with them since I don't speak the language. I hang out with a couple people in my cohort, but most of my friends are from outside the department.

3. My advisor certainly is! I actually found my current program because my undergrad advisor recommended it to me. Turns out they were both in the same cohort and kept in touch.

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oh wow, you are so lucky Fuzzylogician!! it sounds like an ideal situation.

My question was prompted because of the lack of a good relationship with me and my cohort. I am unfortunately a bit of an outsider (age, race, culture etc) and more importantly differences in learning styles/attitudes/personalities. I was hoping that the answer would be that they are not that important. Mainly, I hope one can still have a good academic career without this advantage....

Mind you, my friends are not all from my cohort. Once the first year was over, we started taking seminars that everyone from 2-5th year attended. I have friends from all the different years, above and below my year, and what I wrote refers to them all. Same goes for my professors - they studied together around the same time but they're not all necessarily from the same cohort. I think that matters much less.

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