I just realized the other day that I have not seen a fair number of my good friends at Kellogg for a few weeks now. Some of them are abroad for the quarter. Others taking different sets of classes. And some of them are still taking part in the recruiting process. Likewise, I’ve also been really busy working not just on school but also a new website that I’m building. In some ways, I think this is something that happens every winter of the second year. But it’s also something that’s got me thinking a lot about “friends” recently.
This quarter, I’ve been thinking a lot more about friends. Friends from the law school. Friend from Kellogg. And friends from the greater Chicago area. Given this is last year I’ll be a student here at Northwestern, it’s hard not to think a little about the people that I’ve befriended along the way. From those I’ve spent a lot of time with on class. Those I worked with over the summer. Those I worked with to plan a KWEST trip last summer. And those I’ve spent the last 2.5 years with in the JD-MBA program.
And it dawned on me. That a lot of my “good” friends are people just like that. People I share experiences with and work on difficult problems with. And I’ve come to find that it’s not typical to all-of-a-sudden make friends in the hallways; at least not good ones. Instead you have to create friendships through a series of shared experiences. You work with them when the stakes are high. You hear more about their personal stories. And you see who they are at the core.
The problem is that in business school, you do actually make a number of your friends in the hallway, or at least the study room. But time is limited. The quarter system is busy. Recruiting is tough. And the Internet makes us more distracted than ever before.
One of the easiest things to do in business school is make new friends in the hallway. But one of the hardest things to do is keep them when things get really busy.