School of Pharmacy News & Media Center
The University of Mississippi

The Importance of ‘Pharm Phriends’

Posted on: October 30th, 2015 by enparson

Lauryn Easterling, PY2

Lauryn Easterling (center) with her “pharm phriends”

To quote C.S. Lewis, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’” During the first year of pharmacy school, that’s how I met my classmates. As I feared drowning in a sea of responsibility and schoolwork, I found I wasn’t alone. I was surrounded by individuals who understand the struggle (unlike my parents who didn’t really understand why school had to be so hard).

Starting out, I tried to be independent and do everything myself – if not for my pride, then to just see if it was possible. Quickly I realized pharmacy school is not designed to be a “do it on your own” adventure. As I power through my second year of pharmacy school, I have an even greater appreciation for the need of fellowship and companionship in stressful times.

When my to-do list seems impossibly long, when my grades don’t turn out as I’d hoped or when I get depressed about my lack of free time, I turn to my “pharm phriends” for support. There are two groups: a core group and a general group, but both are of equal importance. The part I most enjoy about these friends is the encouragement they give me when it seems I need it most – even if I try not to show it.

I’m a firm believer in the philosophy that you can’t do life alone, and those people I turn to make sure that I’m not alone. Classmates have the potential to be colleagues, fellow employees or employers, further emphasizing the need for building relationships during school. Not just relationships in the sense that I know your name and you know mine, but true lasting relationships when you know about their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and push them to be the best version of themselves.

By getting to know each other well and working together intraprofessionally we create the “pharm phamily,” or “pharm pham” for short. We then use these connections for self-development and interprofessionalism, two vital aspects of pharmacy practice that will follow us throughout our careers.

I can confidently say that I would not and could not have gotten to this point in my life without my “pharm phriends.” I know that the friendships I have made so far will last through my pharmacy career and I look forward to making many more friends. Special shout out to Row 4 and all of the people who had a kind word to say, even if you didn’t realize it! Next time you text in your “pharm phriends” group chat (be honest – everyone knows you’ve had that name at some point), be sure to thank those people for helping you along the way.