I never really liked the buddy system as a little kid. Teachers would always tell us we had to be “responsible” for whoever we were assigned to for the day (usually on a field trip or some kind of outing away from school). I always thought that everyone should be responsible for themselves and if the teacher couldn’t keep track of the students, well then someone would get left behind. However, my attitude has since changed after becoming a graduate student. As Professor Bendapudi says, “I won’t leave anyone behind.” It seems we all need someone to be somewhat “responsible” for us every once in awhile and vice versa …
At the beginning of school, us first years had the option of getting assigned a “second-year buddy” in GHRA, who would help you get acclimated to life as a Fisher graduate student (this is all encompassing, I know.. it is a big job). I thought “Oh the heck. It may be nice to get to know a 2nd year, even if we just meet once.” Coincidentally, I met my buddy (before we knew we were buddies) through the 2nd year social chair. He seemed nice enough and we seemed to have a lot in common.
Academically, my buddy has been FANTASTIC. He’s helped me study for Stats, which is my major weakness, by explaining the general concepts whenever I don’t really get what is going on in that class. He’s also helped me navigate Professor Heneman’s class by telling me not to freak out about his exams and “just study the main ideas.”
Socially, my buddy has been incredibly helpful. (Yes, he has introduced me to the Park Street bar scene, all in good fun, of course). Aside from being a fun bar-hopping buddy, he’s been really helpful introducing me to other second years, which makes my network increase.
It’s bittersweet that he will be graduating after Winter Quarter (of this year) although he swears he’ll answer his phone when I call in a panic about 2nd year classes. (It has been documented that I warned him he’ll probably want to change his number starting in the fall). However, in just a few short months I feel like I’ve made a friendship that will last far after school is over for both of us.