April 15, 2022 | LIFE | By Alexandra Akinchina | Patil Khakhamian

Making friends and keeping them on the Block Plan is no easy feat. It’s normal to meet a new set of people every 3.5 weeks, and then walk away from the class making, if lucky, at least two new friends.

But what happens afterwards? You might run into these people again, but it isn’t guaranteed.

The Block Plan creates a culture of constant mobility. Everyone is always moving on to their next block, their next project, or their next club. In the larger scheme of things, keeping up with the people you meet in a block class becomes inconsequential.

As a result, a trend emerges in which most people make friends outside of their classes. In my case, I made close friends after participating in the “POD Racing challenge” – a program put on by the Outdoor Education space at Colorado College that puts together a group of first years to get to know each other months before college starts.

Another helpful way to make friends is signing up for adjuncts. Semester-long adjuncts and weekly clubs are spaces where close friendships can blossom.

Consistency is key in both making and keeping friends, so when there is a space where you can connect with the same people on a weekly basis, there are more chances for friendships to develop. Therefore, events outside of the block can help strengthen and maintain friendships.

I’m not the only one who has found friends outside of class. Surakchya Risal ’25, who I met in my First Year Program course, shared her experience of finding friends. “My closest friends are not from any of my blocks. In fact, I rarely talk to anyone from my classes on a daily basis. My best friends are people I have met outside of my classes, and I have realized that this has been a notable thing for me.”

“The Bridge course is a completely different story.” Said Risal. “The Bridge Scholars were my first set of best friends when I had just begun my college journey.” Since everyone was in the same Bridge course and didn’t know anyone else on campus, this allowed them to make close friendships with other people in the group.  

Kellie Hopper ’25 noted that while Block friendships are easy to make, they’re hard to maintain when the class is over. She shared that, “the key to creating a good block relationship is spending time together, studying, lunch, etc.”

In order to maintain and build on a Block friendship, one must carve out time to get to know the person outside of class. “It’s all about being intentional,” she said.

But what about after the block ends? Emily Gordon ’25, someone I met through the “POD Race Challenge,” shared how she has struggled with keeping friends on the Block Plan. “I have a hard time texting people that I’ve met in my classes, which makes it hard to keep in touch,” she said. Although she has met a lot of amazing people, she only considers a handful to be real friends. Even though that is the case, she revealed that, “making plans to routinely meet up with people is what I’ve found to be the best way to stay friends.”

Another friendship strengthener is having more than one block with a person. “It’s fun seeing people from past blocks in my new class because it gives us a chance to form a stronger connection,” said Gordon. Seeing a familiar face in class is always comforting, and it allows for a greater friendship to develop, which may not have been able to occur within the short period of one block.

In the end, the best way to make friends is participating in activities, adjuncts, events, and clubs outside of class. Having something that is consistent will allow for a more natural and stronger friendship to form. To maintain these new friendships, one must be intentional in making time for the person.

Whether it’s going out to lunch together or studying, making space in your schedule will help maintain and build friendships over time. Ultimately, balancing the Block Plan also comes with balancing friendships.

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