Freshman year you walk into a giant lecture hall for your 100 level class. It is full of people you that will change their major and their class schedule a billion times and you will never see them again.
Fast forward, and suddenly you find yourself engrossed in classes that are suddenly all about exactly what you want to do, and you are surrounded by people who are in the same place as you are.
Now, no disrespect to the 300 chemistry and biology majors out there (serious props to you guys), but there is something special about knowing the 20 to 30 other kids you will graduate. It has to do with all the fun, stressful, painful memories you make along the way.
There is nothing more comforting than knowing that, no matter what class you are about to walk into, you know almost everyone in the room. No matter what, you always have someone that you will be able to carry out a conversation with, even if that conversation is just three hours of complaining about how much you hate the class you are in.
The only thing rivaling that comfort is knowing that you have a giant group message of people who either completely feel your pain when you are so stressed out you want to cry, or who have literally just finished whatever it is you are worried about and can help you relax and finish it. Stressing in the library is much more fun when you can find most of your peers there because you all waited until the very last minute to do the most work intensive project you have had to that point.
Maybe you are lucky enough to have a major that requires you to go somewhere. Are you really going to ask one of the hundreds of people in your biology 101 lecture to carpool with you? I would not. But, I would carpool with any one of the people I go to class with every day.
All this time together and I know more about these people than some of the friends I spend all my free time with. I know their pets, their significant others, their post-grad aspirations, what their parents are like, and so much more. Who else would you want to plan a graduation celebrating bar crawl that you're definitely inviting your professor to with?
When you take the benefits of a small class, one where you can talk and connect, and multiply it by having all of your classes with those people, something amazing happens.
So here is to the cohort, to the group chat, and to the cohesive struggles. I could not survive without you.