Airplane Camaraderie

by Amanda Stewart

noun ca·ma·ra·de·rie 

:a feeling of good friendship among the people in a group

My mom was flying back from Florida to Chicago a few weeks ago during a blizzard. The plane couldn’t land in Chicago so it had to fly to St. Louis to re-fuel. She called me from the ground in St. Louis laughing and in a great mood despite the travel woes. She had made good friends with her seatmates and was actually having a good time. Although the trip back from sunny Florida was delayed and the plane was grounded in St. Louis, she was cheery. She told me how funny it is, when things are going smoothly when you travel no one talks to one another and then, suddenly when things aren’t going well, everyone becomes best friends. I suppose the saying goes, “misery loves company”.

It made me think about this camaraderie on an airplane and how true that really is. When I’m stuck in a terminal or in line for a take off that’s taking an hour, or on the ground but with no gate for us to pull-up to, that’s when everyone starts getting chatty. Why is it that we need something negative to bond over? I’m sure on airplanes and in airports aren’t the only places that this happens.

Ever have a colleague try to bond with you over something that wasn’t all that positive? Ever find that the “water cooler” talk is centered around negativity? You might not even notice it, but take a step back and listen to what the conversations you’re having with one another (or not having) revolve around. There are so many other ways for us to connect with one another, it doesn’t have to be over the not-so-good. As we enter spring, conference season, job-searching (for some), and the stresses that come with a semester wrapping up, let’s all try to remember to brighten one another's days, and not only connect when things aren’t going well.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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