There are plenty of reasons to take and avoid classes with friends.

Inevitably, you’re going to have friends interested in taking the same classes as you. Taking classes with friends sounds like fun, right? But before you make that ten to fifteen week commitment, consider all the pros and cons of taking classes with people you know. There are two sides to everything – take a look!

Pro: If you miss class, you’ll have someone to ask for notes.

This is the first thing that comes to mind when you consider taking the same classes as your friends; if you (accidentally) miss class, you know you have someone who will have gone and will have taken notes.

Con: If your friends miss class, they’ll ask you for notes.

Be prepared to be asked for notes, homework, and other things if your friends are prone to missing class. If you’re the sort of student that’s super prepared and on top of things, but you have flaky friends, this can get annoying fast!

Pro: You have a built in study group.

Friends are easy to study with – they’re accessible and you already know them, so there’s none of that awkwardness trying to study with people you barely know from your once a week discussion class/section. Studies show that you can learn a lot more in groups than you can alone, and friends are integrated groups – easy!

Con: Friends can be built in distractions.

Whether you’re in class or trying to study, chances are you’ll find that your friends are far more interesting than the economic policies of rural China. Trying to pay attention to lecture or studying for an exam can be difficult when you’d rather catch up with your friends about their latest romantic interests.

Pro: Friends often have different perspectives.

One of the biggest benefits of studying with friends and taking classes with friends is that everyone has different opinions, which can be really eye-opening when you’re studying. Sometimes we get bogged down in the same way of thinking, and a new approach could be just the thing to get the wheels turning.

Con: Friends aren’t always right.

Friends can be really convincing. It’s really easy to let yourself go with the group mentality, even though you’re not sure about whether they’re right. Don’t let yourself fall into that group mentality – assess all group decisions carefully before you follow the crowd!

There are plenty of reasons to take classes with friends, and there are plenty of reasons to avoid it. Really, it’s all up to your own personal study and class-taking styles. If you think you can handle friends attending class with you, go for it! If you feel a little nervous about it, maybe put it off for a little while, or try out one class before you end up with completely matching schedules.