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I couldn’t tell you the last time I did a problem set, wrote a lab report, or studied for an exam 100% by myself.

Assuming I’ve averaged ~5 assignments per week for the past 7 semesters, that’s approximately 455 assignments that I’ve needed the help of one of my peers to understand a derivation, check an answer, or catch where my code isn’t working properly. Most of the time, it’s been one of my two so-called “Work Wives.”


Work wives at the CBID Design Day last spring

We talk a lot on this site and in the admissions office about ~Collaborative Learning,~ which seems like one of those abstract college-y phrases, along the lines of ~Wholistic Approach~ or ~Hands-on Learning Experience~ or ~The Cloud.~ (Someone plz explain to me exactly what the cloud is because my brain really just doesn’t understand where all my files are being backed up to)

In the spirit of Collaborative Learning and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m here to give a shout-out to my work wives, who have helped me get through the last 3.5 years of BME. We’ve braved a lot of classes together, from Control Systems in the ECE department to a class about technical drawing to all 3 of the SBE’s and their accompanying labs.


Sometimes our group chat is productive


Sometimes it isn’t

It’s a little unclear where our academic dependency study group formed. My friend Becca lived across from me freshman year, and somewhere along the way over the past 3.5 years, we met Katy and discovered that the 3 of us work really well together. And by “work really well,” I mean “have a mutual understanding that 40% of our work time will probably involve laughing at memes or watching vines.” But without a doubt in my mind, I can say that I wouldn’t have been able to get through a lot of my assignments without them.

I’m certain that almost everyone at Hopkins has a group like this. They may not have  matching nerdy Christmas sweaters or order Indian food to Clark Hall at 9pm with the regularity that we do (living in 2016 has its perks), but almost everyone at Hopkins has at least one or two people with whom they regularly collaborate on assignments.

There’s no getting around it. College is hard no matter your major or school you end up attending, and sometimes it’s easier to understand a concept when one of your peers explains it than when the professor first goes through it in lecture. Likewise, you don’t want to see your friends fail, so studying in groups really benefits everyone.


The lobby of Clark is also really good for photos on the night before the SBE1 final

So, thanks, Work Wives, for teaching me Bode plots, indulging my proclivity to get a little side tracked while working, and always letting me know whether you’re in the library or Clark or planning on ordering dinner on the eve before an exam.