Writer vs. Writer: Is It Better to Have Friends in Class or Not?

by The Cowl Editor on September 16, 2021


Having friends in class is helpful.

by Emily Ball ’22

Opinion Staff

Yes, you should have friends in class.

When the time comes to register for classes for the upcoming semester, it is a good choice to take classes with your friends or your roommates.  

Some might argue that having friends in your classes would be an added distraction that takes away your focus from the class material and lectures, yet, this is inaccurate. Having a friend in the class would allow you to easily ask clarifying questions about the class without having to wait for an email response from the professor.  

If one of you is struggling to grasp a concept or an aspect of the lesson from that day, you can talk it out with each other. Instead of having a professor explain the answer to you in a potentially confusing and overly academic manner, your friend can explain it to you in more colloquial and relatable language. It’s also much easier to get a quick answer fast because you don’t have to wait for a response from your professor, you can have the answer much faster and easier. 

Having a friend in your class also takes away the awkwardness of finding someone to work with when your professor suddenly instructs you to “turn and talk with a partner.” You also have someone to work with if the class has any group assignments, which is helpful because you can easily find times and places to meet to work on the project if you live together! 

Further, you already have somebody to sit with on the first day of classes, which is one of the most dreadful aspects of a new semester for anybody, especially those with social anxiety.  

The comfort of having somebody familiar in your class is an added bonus not only academically but also socially. There is somebody in your class that knows you well and makes you feel comfortable. Having this energy in class allows you to open up and participate far easier and act more like yourself. You will always have somebody to join you for those long walks to Harkins or the Science Building! 



Having friends in class is harmful.

by Erin Garvey ’22

Opinion Staff

No, you should not have friends in class. 

Starting a new year, with new professors, new classrooms, and new materials can be really daunting which is why having a good friend in a class can be anxiety-reducing news. However, through personal experience, I have found that having a good friend in class can increase the level of anxiety and discomfort one may already feel in a class.  

  Firstly, what I mean by a good friend is someone that you consider more than an acquaintance. This could be a roommate, housemate, friend you hang out within your free time, or even someone you chat with on occasion. When we are working in high-stress environments, having a close friend nearby can have an adverse effect. If we are in a class that makes us nervous, do we want someone in the class who knows when you are confused or can tell that you are uncomfortable? Having someone be able to read your emotions can significantly raise the already high level of anxiety.   

  Another reason that it is not a good idea to have good friends in classes is that each individual has a different learning style. With a friend in class, you may feel the need to keep up, copy or even push yourself further to impress or outshine your friend. This can take away from the main focus on the class and hurt that individual’s class grade in the long run.  

A simple way to overcome this anxiety-inducing situation is to try to see if you have any friends in this same course in other sections. This would allow for opportunities to come together outside of class to review or even bounce ideas/concepts off of each other. By doing this you are allowing yourself room for your own individual learning styles, and providing yourself with the opportunities for new ways of thinking from others in an environment and time that is less anxiety-provoking.  

Of course, during the first weeks of school having a good friend class seems like a really good thing. While the professors and students are getting adjusted to the materials, new schedule, and each other it is great to have someone there that you can take comfort in and feel calm with.  Just like learning styles, everyone has their own way of thinking and learning. Consider both sides of this argument and decide which is best for you and your learning styles.