The Power of Communication

Communication with classmates can have many benefits.


Levi Herrera, Senior Staff Writer

After the death of two Grossmont students in late February, questions arose to if students should take time to get to know peers in their classes. In the beginning of March, the Dean of Academic Affairs, Agustin Albarran came into one of my classes and said one of our classmates has passed away. Many of the students in the class looked around to see who it was. Unfortunately, we could not figure out who was missing. Till this day, I try my best to remember if I have seen one of the two students in my classes. In a way, it feels like they have been forgotten. Some students at Grossmont College may remember these students. The majority of students did not know them or didn’t know about their passing.

This leads to the big question: Should students take time to communicate with their peers?

Taking a small amount of time to speak with classmates is important because it can help you meet new people and open the door to learning more about a person. It may not be possible to talk to every classmate, but talking to a few classmates can be great. In a classroom, it can be hard and uncomfortable to raise your hand when you do not understand a topic. Asking a classmate for assistance can help you understand a concept and gain confidence. Furthermore, when you miss class because you are sick or have an emergency, a classmate can help you with missing notes and notify you about any assignments. This also means that one day, you will have to help a classmate when they miss class. It’s a win-win.

Creating study groups with classmates can help you improve with studying. In many cases, study groups can help you find new strategies and write down information you didn’t catch during a class lecture. Having support from classmates can be helpful during the semester. Let’s face it, there is no such thing as a perfect semester. You may have family and friends outside of school to support you, but it is not the same. Support from classmates can make the hard times in the semester easier because they may be in the same situation as you.

There is a possibility a classmate can turn into a good friend. Karoline Shore and Emily Wistand are both Grossmont College students who were once classmates and now, they are great friends.
According to Wistand, both of them had to pair up in a physical education class. Eventually, both of them connected with similar hobbies and passion for music. Shore explained how classmates are more than just students. They have jobs and hobbies outside of school.

“You can’t just talk to a classmate about a specific class,” Shore advised. “You have to get out of your comfort zone and get to know more about your classmates.”
It can be – or feel – impossible to talk to every single individual, but talking to classmates next to you can help them realize that you acknowledge and notice their presence.
“Having her in my class was great because I had someone to talk to,” Wistand said.

Both students explained the importance of being noticed. Students want to be noticed because it helps them feel welcomed. Many students may look intimidating, but a small conversation can help you realize that your classmate is actually a nice person.

“We both have serious facial expressions,” Wistand said. “I thought that she didn’t like me, but after talking to her after class one day, I realized that she was laid back and that reduced the intimidation.”
Communicating with classmates can help an individual with problems from a similar class or problems outside of school. According to both students, they encourage everyone to speak with a classmate. Even if that means only saying a greeting. “A small ‘hello’ or a ‘how are you doing’ can help make a classmate’s day,” Shore said. “Talking to a peer is important because it can help someone not feel invisible.”