What is Friendship Education?: Positivity Defines Mentality

PC: Jay Mantri

“We’re all smart regardless. That, my friend, is something that cannot be denied…”

****

“We’re all smart regardless. That, is something that cannot be denied…” concluded a friend of mine, sleeping across the room with his head propped up against a linear algebra textbook.

It’s March now, and for most people, springtime here in California absolutely could not be more beautiful.

But for students like myself attending universities running on the unforgiving quarter system, final exam season is now upon us. This isn’t my first time going through the hell that is end of quarter finals, and it surely won’t be my last.

But something about finals this time around has been different, and fortunately, more bearable for me.

It isn’t the fresh pollen drifting aimlessly in the springtime breeze, nor the smell of fresh rain washing away the gravel and dirt from the pavement here in Palo Alto.

It’s friendship education.

Never heard of it?

Let me explain.

We’ve all heard of mentorship. People older than us, more intelligent than us, with more life experience than us, helping us figure out the game of life one step at a time.

Now, there’s friendship education.

As students, we have the ability to help and support one another in beautiful ways.

Friendship education is comprised of the moments where students, friends, and acquaintances can play an empathetic role in ways no mentor could ever do.

Friendship education is what is helping me get through finals week.

***

While studying for a couple finals with some friends the other day, we all hit a brick wall. I think everyone has felt it before, the feeling of just not being able to continue studying.

We didn’t want to see another problem set. We didn’t want to write another sentence of an essay. We didn’t want to type out another term for our study guides.

What we did want, and maybe even needed, was support. We knew this without having to mutter a single word.

So it was from his prostrate position on the floor, with his head flat on his textbook, that my friend groaned with the last bit of energy he had left:

“We’re all going to get this done, and we’re all smart regardless. That, is something that cannot be denied…”

We laughed, smiled even.

My friend had acknowledged that we although were suffering, we were smart. And with that, a newfound sense of camaraderie was built.

We were going to finish our work regardless of its difficulty.

With this camaraderie, we were rejuvenated, ready to continue forward knowing that we were in fact all smart regardless of what scores we might earn on our tests the following day.

A simple, yet impactful statement like this can really alter a student’s mindset when faced with the stress of tests and examinations.

It wasn’t until this winter season of finals here in college that I ever felt truly connected with other students in an academic setting.

I think that’s a problem.

As students, we have the ability to help and support one another in beautiful ways. Regardless of where we are in our academic careers, we should always strive to support each other through our respective educational journeys.

I challenge you to do something today to support your fellow students going through similar academic struggles.

Spread the friendship, spread the education.

***

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