How was college/social life in grad school? Was it easy to make friends? Also, what’s the experience of going to grad school in a place where you don’t know anyone?
Grad school gives you an immediate cohort- most people know few- if any- people in their program when they arrive, so you aren’t the only ‘new kid’.
If college (in the US) is where you sort out what you really want to specialize in, and lay the groundwork for your future career, grad school is for people who know what they want to do, and are focused on getting there. So, from Day 1 you are spending time with people who are not only interested in the same field you are, and who are going to be in the trenches with you for the next 1-7 years (depends on the grad program), but they are also your future colleagues.
There is plenty of social life, but it isn’t like undergrad. Most people in grad school are more independent. Many/most are responsible for their own fees and are at least part-supporting themselves. Depending on the length of the program, some will be getting married and plenty will be in long term relationships.
Grad school is very different than college in a bunch of ways, not least is that maturity is a real thing, and as almost everybody is 22+ (and depending on the type of grad school, a lot more than that) you can tell the difference.
My son is in veterinary school and just started this year. He knew a lot of people but many of those coming in did not. They formed a study group that has ended up being their social group. Pharm school would be the same. Groups just seem to have naturally formed. His group are hard studiers that mainly have spouses or significant others. Other groups are academic or social interest related. Many met in labs or in clubs, philanthropies, or classes (what few they have in person). It has been good for him since he is swamped with work! Last night he called at 11:30 and was just leaving the vet school from a study group and heading to his gf’s house for a glass of wine before calling it a night.
Social life is different. His class has ages from 20 - 35. Depending on the grad school program it could be a small group or larger. Not as much running out to bars and no real hard parties. Much more mature.