Making Connections: Your SLIS-mates and You

As I’m sure many of you know the last month or so of the semester is a real time crunch. (We do have some posts on managing it all here, here, and I’m sure elsewhere.) The onslaught of assignments combined with the exhaustion in the aftermath of election season is making this one short post. However, there are things you can do to make a stressful time less stressful. And I’d like to write about one of them today: fellow LIS students.

There is a saying about school that goes something like this: you have adequate sleep, a social life, or good grades and to succeed you must choose only two. I don’t totally subscribe to that, (mostly because doing completely without any of the three sounds awful).

In my program we call each year a cohort. Each cohort is filled with what I call my SLIS-mates. They’re a source of cheer and moral support when things get tough and a source of joy when things are good. They offer unique perspectives on librarianship and career building and honestly, I couldn’t imagine SLIS without them. My cohort bonded over entry level classes and starting life together in a new place, and of course, we bonded over common interests.

But library school is so busy, you might say, how do you find the time?

  1. Social media: One of my SLIS-mates founded a Facebook group for all of the incoming class. It took us a little while to all find our way there, but it was probably the most important bonding agent for our class. In our Facebook group we could share frustrations about classes, neat tidbits we’d learned about librarianship, and new resources or websites that we enjoyed. Importantly, we could also use the space to plan informal events.
  2. Informal events: Do things together! Big events for my group have included study sessions, potlucks, or even informal gatherings after class. These are excellent opportunities to get to know up and coming professionals from diverse backgrounds with diverse career goals. If you’re looking for a fresh perspective, or just a friendly connection in a new place, after class events and study sessions are the places to find them.
  3. Official events: This is something I’ll admit I haven’t been a big part of. My program has a Library and Information Science Student Organization (LISSO) that plans events for both the cohorts. It’s a campus group so everyone is invited! LISSO doesn’t necessarily do library stuff (for instance, they’ve been apple picking), although they did take a tour of the local public library earlier this year. Some other programs, I’ve heard, have student chapters of ALA or SAA.

I know we are all busy and stressed. Sometimes I just want to wrap myself up in a blanket and hide until it’s over. But, don’t forget to make time for your SLIS-mates, they may improve your quality of life. And after all, they are professional connections. Who knows where you’ll see them or what job opportunities you’ll hear about down the road all thanks to your awesome SLIS-mates.

Image by Flazingo Photos licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

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