As I've mentioned in the past, one of my goals in school is to make at least one new friend in each class I take. It definitely helps to have someone to talk about the experience while you're going through it, and sometimes, they've got information that is helpful to you (and vice versa).
This semester, though, it seems like the connections I've made with peers have just multiplied. There are people from all of my classes that I'm connecting with daily, and while the conversations may just be school related, it's not just the classroom experience. Instead, we're talking about the other classes, professors, our educational plans and how to accomplish them. In short, we now have an outlet for all those questions that lie ahead.
I think the biggest compliment is when another person who is continuing on (or is already in the Ph.D program) asks what classes I'm planning to take in the fall. It says they value me as a classmate and hey, having a known quantity in a class is always a good thing.
As one goes higher in the higher education journey, there are less peers coming along for the ride, so it feels good to know that the desire to foster those connections is shared by others. It's what will make the next four to five years go by faster!