Tips for Getting Along with Your Classmates

Some common sense suggestions will help you make the most of your time at school

School can be an exciting time, when you’re preparing for a career, learning new things, and interacting with a range of people in your classes. Things can turn sour quickly, though, if you let negative energy between you and your peers take over.

Here are some suggestions for ways to keep things on a positive note, so that your interactions feed your good work and create experiences that are productive. Everyone deserves a chance to do their best, and here’s how you can support yourself as well as others.

Be less competitive
When you’re in school, the only person whose performance you should be worried about is your own. You want to try your best, but it’s none of your business how any of your classmates did on a recent exam, or how they’re doing at their externship. Stay focused on you!

Avoid cliques
Everyone has people they like and don’t like, but when groups of people gang up on each other, it can create interactions ranging from unpleasant to vicious. It’s cruel to exclude people and talk about them behind their back. And the thing about cliques is: You never know when you could be the one to be cast out, and have to look around for a welcoming group of friends. Being generous is the mature way to go.

Ignore gossip
It can be interesting and fun to share juicy tidbits of info about your classmates—their personal lives, boyfriends/girlfriends, or other drama. But gossip is very often not true, and—more importantly—it saps a lot of creative energy you could be using for more positive pursuits. Whenever you have the urge to spend time gossiping, ask yourself, “What am I avoiding doing right now that would make my life better?” You’ll often come up with an answer pretty quickly!

Don’t respond to negativity
Generally, the trick to this is to “rise above it”—whatever “it” is. You’ve probably heard former First Lady Michelle Obama use the expression, “When they go low, we go high.” Negativity is exactly what she was talking about. No matter what unpleasant thing someone says about you (or someone else)—to your face, behind your back, through the grapevine, on social media—the best thing to do is ignore it. It can be hard, if you sense they’re doing it just to be mean. But to respond is to give them power and to devote precious energy to something you can’t control. This won’t help you—or anyone—in the long run. The urge to react or defend yourself might be a signal that it’s time to get back to your studies.

We hope these basic suggestions can help you to “keep your eyes on the prize” when you’re focusing on your classes and the career you are working towards. Throughout your professional life, you’ll come into contact with a range of people, and it’s an essential skill to be able to get along reasonably well with everyone. Think if it as fundamental part of your career training!


This article is part of the weekly blog of the American College for Medical Careers, located in Orlando, FL. We care about the positive school experiences of all our students. Reach out to us for more information about the number of professional training programs we offer.