Nobody ever told me that making friends as an adult wasn’t as easy as when we were younger. But if you think about it, it makes sense.
“Hey mom, can I go spend the night at Serena’s house?”
We no longer have slumber parties with our friends (well I guess you could if you really wanted to), accompanied with snacks, late night chats, and allowing someone to see you in your most vulnerable of states (i.e. brushing your teeth, your early morning grumpies, etc.).
In my opinion, traveling with folks is the best way to achieve an accelerated friendship. You spend ample amounts of time together. Traveling can stir up different emotions and the people you are with are typically, at the time, the only individuals you have to talk to about them. There is also a lot of what I would call down time – as in car rides, train rides, plane rides, and walking. Usually conversation fills up the empty space. If anything, traveling with a group is like one large slumber party in a way, with everyone getting to see you at both your best and worst.
[This is Cortney as my roommate when we didn’t really know one another. She stole all of the covers. ALL of the covers.]
When Missie and Erika picked me up at my house to drive to the Dulles airport, I didn’t even introduce them to my boyfriend as he said his goodbyes since to be honest, I didn’t feel like I knew them. Upon returning, as cliché as it sounds, I really do feel like I have a new group of people that I have a special bond with.
PhD life can be isolating. The majority of people our age are not at the library. It can be difficult to relate to others outside of the academic bubble. When I applied to the GPP Program, I wrote about wanting to participate in the trip because although I had recently completed the Future Professoriate Graduate Certificate, I wanted to continue to find opportunities to stay connected with students, outside of my own discipline, that had interest in higher education as an institution and theory + practice of teaching. I think it is important that universities continue to facilitate cross-disciplinary interactions among PhD students. We don’t get out much! A since of community, especially with people that understand what we are going through at PhD students, can sometimes mean everything.
Upon returning, I’m definitely missing the views, espresso breaks, and most of all the GPP folks.