Think back to elementary school, high school, or even your prior college experiences. You might not be able to remember much about the daily lessons, or even recall the names of all your teachers. But you almost certainly remember the friends you made. Friendships make life worthwhile. They make digging into challenging material feel easier. And they give you an incentive to keep going when you encounter one of life’s seemingly endless difficulties. Your classmates are important in your online degree program too. Not only can they serve as cheerleaders and empathetic ears, but they will also one day become your professional network. Networking begins long before you graduate, so get to know the people who will one day become your colleagues. They may help you find a job, hire you, get you a speaking gig, or keep you abreast of critical industry shifts.