Deciding to go to grad school can be a tough choice. Deciding to go to grad school far from home can be an even harder choice. One thing that made my decision to move from northern Illinois to MSU easier was my cohort! A cohort is a group of students who all begin school and are expected to graduate at the same time. One of the reasons I selected to go to MSU was because my program uses the cohort model.
I was born and lived in the same town for the first 26 years of my life. Moving to a completely different place by myself was scary. Knowing that I would be part of a cohort when I arrived really helped to ease my anxiety. I knew that at the least I would have 13 classmates who were in the same position as me.
Having a cohort can also be a great place for social support. Since all my classmates have the exact same school schedules as me, they always understand exactly what I’m going through because they are going through it too. There are no better people to complain about assignments, laugh at each other’s quirks, or have a movie night de-stressing session with.
Another great aspect of being in a cohort is having study buddies. Everyone has their own study style but what works for me is being quizzed. In every cohort there is bound to be someone who has the same study style as you. One of my classmates studies best from quizzing people and I study best from being quizzed. We are a match made in heaven and now we always have someone to study with.
Another thing I love about my cohort is that there is always someone who I can go to when I don’t understand something. Out of 14 people there is usually at least one person who will understand something the teacher said that I don’t. This is especially useful when I am doing an assignment last minute and it’s too late to email the professor.
The final, and best part about being in a cohort is that I made 13 best friends. There is nothing like going through the rigors of grad school to help a group bond. My cohort is someone who I have shared a challenging and developmental part of my life with. For that reason they will always have a special place in my heart. – Alise Dabdoub, I/O Psychology graduate student